The men’s hour record hasn’t been beaten since Victor Campenaerts of Belgium set a new best back in 2019. Dan Bigham took on the record with an unofficial attempt last year, unable to be ratified if he had succeded due to the need to be on the UCI’s blood passport programme to ensure a clean rider. Since taken on by the Ineos Grenadiers as a consultant, Bigham has been supported in his desire to take on and beat the hour record. He succeded today with a distance of 55.548km at the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen Switzerland.
The former Mercedes F1 team aerodynamicist, Bigham switched his focus to cycling. Including spells on the track with his own trade team that embarrassed some of the bigger nations’ own national teams and on the road with Ribble-Weldtite too until this season. His link to the Ineos Grenadiers allowed him access to new testing and a prototype Pinarello track bike that is allegedly earmarked for use by Filippo Ganna for his future attempt at the record.
The new kit allowed Bigham to push the new distance almost half a kilometre further than Campenaert’s record, a big improvement in hour record terms. Campenaerts did a 55.089 at the Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico. Alex Dowsett had also attempted the record in November 2021 but came up short on the Belgian’s distance.
“I was trying to ride 16-second laps for the second half and that’s a bit daunting as I’ve not done 16.0s for half an hour before. It’s a bit mind-blowing. The support I’ve had around me (from Ineos) was second to none and that made it a whole lot easier. Everything you would expect from the team.
I knew I was on pace but you still have to complete the distance. I knew if I could get to 20 minutes to go and then push on a little bit. I just focussed on line, breathing and head position. It was really enjoyable as I knew I had a safety net.
I wanted to get 55.5km so to put another 48 metres on that I’m pretty pleased with that.”Dan Bigham
Dan Bigham’s fiance Joss Lowden, who rides for Uno-X, set a women’s world hour record herself although it was subsequently beaten by Ellen van Dijk last year. Bigham’s own record might soon come under attack, however, with Ineos’s world time trial champion Filippo Ganna confirming he will mount an assault on the Hour in the coming months.