Great Britain’s Paralympic legend Dame Sarah Storey will be the first female rider to go after the hour record since the UCI revamped the rules earlier this year.
Six-time Paralympic cycling gold medallist Storey will tackle the hour at round five of the Revolution Series in London, on Saturday February 28, with Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van-Moorsel the woman to beat.
The Dutchwoman’s mark of 46.065km, set in Mexico City, has stood since 2003 but Storey believes if she arrives on top form she can follow the lead of male counterparts Jens Voigt and Matthias Brandle in establishing a new record.
Storey, 37, said: “I’m excited and nervous at the prospect of being the first woman to take on the record in over a decade.
“I did a couple of days’ testing up at the Manchester Velodrome to try and work out the output that would be involved over an hour to have a realistic chance of challenging the record and we decided that if I can arrive in good shape I stood a fighting chance.
“Logistically it fits in just about perfectly with the plans I already had put in place for next year which centre around the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships at the end of March – when I will be entering the individual pursuit, 500m time trial and scratch race.”
Storey’s attempt follows the success of Voigt and Brandle earlier this year, who both broke the men’s record after the UCI modernised and simplified the rules in May.
With any track bike now allowed to take on the challenge, as opposed to the stringent measures put in place around the turn of the century, it has reinvigorated interest in the hour record.
And UCI president Brian Cookson is delighted to see Storey making an attempt on the women’s hour.
“After two UCI Hour Records in quick succession for the men, I am very pleased that the existing women’s record will now be challenged,” Cookson said.
“In amending the regulations, the UCI hoped for exactly this kind of motivation from the world’s best athletes.
“Dame Sarah Storey’s attempt will be eagerly awaited and I am sure it will prompt other top women riders to try to claim this prestigious record.”
Storey’s record attempt will culminate a packed Saturday afternoon of events at the Lee Valley Velo Park when the Revolution returns to the capital for its second visit of the current series.
And James Pope, of promoters Face Partnership, is excited to see the record attempt added to the billing.
“When Jens Voigt and Mathias Brändle established their records the crowd involvement seemed really high and we felt a high energy Revolution meeting might be the ideal occasion to host such an attempt,” he explained.
“Obviously these things have to be finessed because firstly the rider has to be in peak physical condition to even contemplate an attempt and with a fair deal of preparation time required it also has to fit in with team duties and requirements.
“We were delighted, therefore, when Dame Sarah Storey accepted our invitation to make her attempt on the Women’s UCI Hour Record at Revolution. It should be a great occasion.”
Tickets are available for Revolution and the UCI Hour Record attempt on www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling See Tickets on 0844 412 4650.