Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) capped a fine season by storming to a new hour record at the World Cycling Centre, Switzerland, on Thursday night (October 30).
The Austrian, 24, who won two consecutive stages of the Tour of Britain in September – both times from the break – beat the mark established by the retiring Jens Voigt last month.
Brandle has extended the record to 51.85km after his effort, having overcome what he admitted was a difficult period in the middle of the race.
At the half-way point of the attempt, the Austrian time trial champion – who was keen to end his season on a high note after enduring a difficult World Championships in Ponferrada – was more than a minute faster than the required speed.
And though he faded slightly, he overhauled Voigt’s mark of 51.115km to become the second rider to enter the record books since the UCI revamped the regulations for record attempts.
The changes saw Brandle set up on the same bike – a Scott Plasma 5 – he raced against the clock on at the World Championships, and the Austrian credited the UCI for the change in rules.
On his attempt, he said: “In the first few minutes I just wanted to get on with it but then it became more complicated.
“Between 30 and 50 minutes was the hardest and I asked myself ‘why did I choose to do this kind of event?’
“Then in the last 10 minutes, it’s the mental that takes over and with the amazing crowd behind me it was easier. Now I am really happy.
“I think it was good that the UCI updated the rules (for the UCI Hour Record). It meant I was able to use almost the same bike as I used (for the time trial) at the Road World Championships. It’s a really good change.”
UCI president Brian Cookson hopes the two recent hour records will now see several other riders follow suit, with Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) having all stated their interest in the past.
He said: “What Matthias has just achieved is a tremendous accomplishment. He is the first rider to come so close to the 52 km mark. It’s a very special moment for cycling and for the UCI Hour Record.
“I would like to thank IAM Cycling and Scott for taking up this challenge and I congratulate them for their excellent preparation, which has resulted in this new feat.
“A performance such as this showcases our sport in the best possible way, and it was a source of pride to be able to host this event at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Agile.”