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Jens Voigt Sets New Hour Record with 51.110 Kilometer Distance

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Jens Voigt breaks hour cycling record
Photo credit: Ulf Schiller – schillerphoto.com

PRESS RELEASE: Jens Voigt has put the Hour Record back into the headlines Thursday evening in Grenchen, Switzerland in front of over 1600 fans at the Velodrome Suisse, setting a new record distance of 51.110 kms to break the 2005 benchmark of 49.700 kms set in 2005 set by Ondrej Sosenka.

Jens Voigt was ahead of his set timetable from the first lap, and he slowly built on his lead as the seconds ticked off the clock. He never appeared in trouble and was able to increase his pace in the final 10 minutes to bring his speed over the 51km/h mark for the first time.

“I started as usual too fast, but that is just me I can’t control myself, and I realized that I was a second faster on the first lap than on the timetable so I tried to pace myself a little. But I was in good shape, just right. I am perfectly fit for this moment, I am in very good shape, and after 20 minutes I had gained one lap but I was still feeling in control. Then from 20-40 minutes I had a comfortable lead and I paced myself and was still gaining a little time. Then in the last 20 I sped up a little and gained another lap. The last 10 minutes were flat out – all-in.

“My only thoughts were to not over pace, to focus on holding the black line and to stay aero – no side thoughts. 51.1- yah I am pretty happy.”
– Jens Voigt

General Manager Luca Guercilena commented on Voigt’s Hour Record from Spain where Trek Factory Racing is currently preparing for the World Championship Team Time Trial on Sunday:

“At the start I was pretty worried because I knew the time schedule and he was fast, but then I was happy when I saw him balancing. I knew that at 40 minutes it was the line where he would either increase or go down and I was super happy to see him increase. It was really impressive to see him do this at the age of 43 – but Jens is Jens.

At the end I was really hoping he could beat the time of Moser because that was the first reference for the hour record and that would have been good. He was really, really close. It was a really nice way to finish his career with a good performance, and we gave him all our support and this is what he deserved. I am really happy the event went well. We all watched [the Hour Record] from a computer in Spain and I can say it was inspirational, and has given us a boost for Sunday.”
– Luca Guercilena

After it was over he was able to take in what he had just accomplished in front of a packed house in the Velodrome Suisse, and also televised live throughout the world. He admitted, even through the suffering, he was able to enjoy the moment:

“The first 10 minutes I could not feel the pedals and thought, ‘oh this is easy!’ Then I went, ‘oooooh, maybe you’d better pace yourself a little bit here.’ Then I went on cruising speed from 20-40 mins. But I could feel at that speed I was good, I could hold on to this speed, I am not going to break down or slow down. So I felt in control, and yes indeed I had a little bit of time to enjoy it.”

In the final 30 minutes Jens Voigt began standing at interspersed moments, the first show of the strain and pain from the tremendous effort.

“Having this cramped up position to hold for an hour is pretty tough. Basically the place where I sit on the saddle was really beginning to hurt and giving me a lot of pain, so every 10 laps I got out of the seat to stretch and release some pressure of my behind so to speak. I am happy that I don’t have to sit on the saddle for the next days now!

“I remember how Chris Boardman was walking after his effort and I am not far off from that. I am basically limping. It hurts in my glutes!

“Boardman was my first roommate in 1997 and I can’t ask for a better good-bye than this.”
– Jens Voigt

In 2014 the UCI unified the two previous classifications (Athlete’s Hour and Best Human Effort) into a single classification in line with regulations for current track pursuit bikes and Jens Voigt was the first attempt under the new ruling.

“It’s absolutely what we thought would happen, to bring the Hour Record back to status in a new era. It was pointless to continue the old system, we needed to allow the technology and bring back the magic. It was wonderful! Congratulations to Jens and all the Trek Factory Racing team.”
– Brian Cookson (president UCI)

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27 Comments
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Dude
Dude
8 years ago

The classiest of showmen. What a way to retire. He’ll be missed!

David
David
8 years ago

Jens F. Voigt! My favourite pro rider, hands down.

john parker
john parker
8 years ago

a “record” that’s 2k less than Boardman road (on the same type bike/position) but hey who is counting?

anonymous
anonymous
8 years ago

Voigt is great, but wasn’t Ondrej Sosenka’s record set on drop bars? How long is the record going to stand?

wheelz
wheelz
8 years ago

Was amazing to watch the event live on YouTube. Jens’ form looked perfect. Congrats Jens!

alex
alex
8 years ago

Many different hour records. I like the “classic” one, don’t know specifics but I think you need round tubes, no aero bars, 32 spoke box section wheels, and more traditional geometry.

Kyle
Kyle
8 years ago

I’m not sure how anyone can look at Boardman and Voigt next to each other and think that it’s the same position. Boardman and Obree were able to have a much flatter riding position and wear aero helmets. There’s no sense in comparing them to what Voigt did.

anonymous
anonymous
8 years ago

By that argument there’s no sense in comparing Voigt’s to Sosenka’s then?

Kyle
Kyle
8 years ago

Nope. New benchmark for a new record.

Gap blue jeans
Gap blue jeans
8 years ago

A great spectacle from Jens and hopefully the start of some great record attempts. He went 1.6k further than Merckx did 42 years ago, outdoors on a traditional track bike, so it’s safe to say this record will fall. Who’s next?

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
8 years ago

Since we’re comparing different records, it’s nearly 40 km less than the best human power record (90 km). But hey, apples and oranges etc.

Kyle
Kyle
8 years ago

Trek has a bike and lots of data now. Fabian will add a few kilometers to that when he’s ready.

gatouille
gatouille
8 years ago

Kyle, “New benchmark for a new record.” -> unfortunately it is a part of the truth. No interest in this record, except brand advertising and maybe for UCI… Sorry Mr Cookson, nothing magical. Tomorrow, this record will be improved ; it’s the human organic evolution.

Increase performance with new material, new shape, new geometry, … is a way to follow.

Human power records (land, water, air) are more interesting.

Menos
Menos
8 years ago

Gatouille, Kyle,

Assume for a while that a bike is the same as in 1972. There would have likely appeared another purists negating the new achievements because of the progress in training methods (incl. equipment, diet, etc.).

PS
I am too young to remember, but I am almost sure Merckx’s bike was much more different than the one Dodds rode in 19th century.

PPS
Using a crowd-funding it is possible to gather money for Cancellara, to persuade him to beat the Merckx’s achievement. I think a bike has already been prepared.

bsimon
bsimon
8 years ago

All I know is this dude averaged over 30 mph for an hour. I hit 29-something sprinting for a light once; have never pedaled to 30 myself on the flats. Incredible performance.

Chris L
Chris L
8 years ago

First, congrats to Jens. I don’t care what kind of bike you’re riding, 50+k in an hour is simply amazing. Even in a fully faired recumbent most people would puke up a lung even attempting this.

Second, it’s great to see a high profile rider take on the hour record. I hope this persuades other top riders to give it a try.

Third, it’s kind of amazing that with an aero carbon frame, indoor velodrome, aero bars and modern training technology (wattage meters, etc) that he STILL couldn’t beat Moser’s 51.151 record from 30 years ago! Really says something about the level of effort Moser put out while riding a steel bike with ridiculously heavy first generation disc wheels.

Hotep
Hotep
8 years ago

UCI rulings and slide and dice categories aside, respect to Jens! He brought so much more to the sport than he ever took. Way to go out! Bravo.

Jim
Jim
8 years ago

Moser was in Mexico City at over 7,000 feet (4347m) elevation. His wind resistance was much less. Still a fantastic ride. In a similar vein, what about Tony Rominger’s record of 55.291km? None of his equipment or position appears to violate the new UCI rules https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rnm8rO1kd4

Jim
Jim
8 years ago

Oops, 7000ft is 2134m.

slammed
slammed
8 years ago

@Jim Rominger’s bike had a smaller front wheel than rear, which is now outlawed.

TheKaiser
8 years ago

@ Chris L, in addition to what Jim mentioned above, Moser was also blood doping (although that technique was legal at the time!) so you have to take into consideration when comparing.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
8 years ago

Jens is the man. Kudos to the 43 y.o. fan favorite and all around nice guy.

CJ
CJ
8 years ago

Good coverage, thanks guys.

Question as this is “bike rumor” after all. The bike set up said those are Shimano PRO wheels, but the wheels he raced sure look like Mavic’s track disks. Any comments? Mavic track wheels have much of a high end track reputation than PRO’s.

What_the_****
What_the_****
8 years ago

@Jim
Tony Rominger was amazing!

Adam Martinez
Adam Martinez
8 years ago

Jensy is the best all around. Team player, hard worker, greatful person and all around good guy! My favorite rider of all time just because of his demeanor and work ethic! Shows that no matter what age, you can do it! It’s bitter sweet to see this end but what an ending! Great to see him cap off a great career this way!

GO JENS!!!

1Pro
1Pro
8 years ago

UCI governed event? yawn….

PJSweeney
8 years ago

Here’s five minutes of fun in Switzerland during the record attempt (with never before seen video) if you like Jens’ sense of humor you’ll like the last two minutes!

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