Just six weeks after The Jensie smashed through The Hour record under new UCI rules, the title of World Hour Record Holder has gone to a new athlete – Matthias Brandle.
Inspired by Voigt’s ride, Brandle only decided to take on the challenge after seeing Voigt pummel the velodrome for sixty long minutes – but despite limited preparation he furthered the record from 51.115km to 51.850km.
Aged 25, Brandle of IAM Cycling has grown up watching Voigt,now 43, and said before taking to the track: “I have decided to try my luck with the record-breaking effort partially because Jens Voigt has been a role model for me since my childhood.”
Both attempts were made in Swiss velodromes, but Voigt’s record was won in Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, whislt Brandle chose the velodrome in Aigle. With the velodrome at the UCI headquarters, this guaranteed senior officials, but the velodrome is not best suited to an hour record.
At 200m long, as opposed to the traditional 250m distance, this means more corners, which can interfere with concentration and rhythm. Not only that, the smaller velodrome means more g-force, which pushes the rider towards the track center making holding a consistent position more difficult.
Brandle was up on Voigt after 30 minutes, and was on target for his pre-stated 52km goal, but at 50 minutes he began to waver, his average speed dropped and in the end he beat Voigt’s record with just 42 seconds to go.
Velonews have reported Brandle’s reaction as he stated: ““I’m really happy about it… It’s really hard, and I was really on my limit… “I had a difficult period in the middle of the race…. But, it’s like as close as the [end of the] hour comes, the easier it goes.”
Voigt, who encouraged Wiggins and Cancellara to take a pop at the record after his final, retirement ride has tweeted: “Well- hats off to Matthias, he puts a strong performance in! Congrats to the new Hour Record!! Great to see the young kids going for it… gotta admit i hurts a little to loose the record, but that’s normal, no?! But hey i never had the illusion of holdin it forever.”
It was hoped the relaxation of UCI regulation, to allow any bike permitted in UCI endurance track events to be ridden for an hour record, would bring the dormant event back to life, and Brandle’s record is unlikely to be the last for a while. UCI president Brian Cookson told Velonews: “It’s exactly what we hoped would happen when we modernized the rules and allowed a modern pursuit-type bike. It’s exactly what we wanted to happen. We have a great older rider at the end of his career [Voigt], and now we have a younger rider very much at the beginning of his career.”