Jeffrey Hoogland etched his name into the annals of cycling history with a record-breaking performance in the one-kilometre time trial at the velodrome, as reported on Tuesday. The Dutch speedster redefined the limits of the track, posting an electrifying time of 55.433 seconds. This formidable display shattered the long-standing world record held by François Pervis of France, by nearly a full second – a record that has remained unchallenged since 2013.
Hoogland’s triumph in Aguascalientes, Mexico, at an altitude where the thin air can lend a speed advantage, was more than just another victory; it was what he described as the “crowning achievement” of his illustrious career. Already adorned with Olympic and World Championship titles, including this year’s accolades, Hoogland has elevated his legacy even further with this world record.
The Olympic champion and nine-time world champion in both team sprint and the time trial admitted to the sheer physical toll the effort took on him. Despite the pain, the elation of achieving such a milestone was palpable. “I am very happy with the world record, that is why I came here,” Hoogland remarked, acknowledging the significance of his nearly one-second lead over the previous record as “really cool.”
Hoogland, who had previously been the only cyclist to break the 58-second mark twice at sea level, spoke of his intense preparation for this moment. Recognising the transience of an athlete’s career, he expressed his desire to cement his connection to the sport with a world record. The success of this endeavour was a sentiment he shared with profound gratitude towards his partners for their support.
In a novel approach to creating optimal racing conditions inside the velodrome, a derny motorbike was employed to circle the track at speed before Hoogland’s attempt, mimicking the airflow of an in-race situation with two riders. This attention to detail was part of a comprehensive plan described by national team coach Mehdi Kordi as “quite intense” and steeped in “science.” Kordi detailed the extensive preparations, including wind tunnel testing, time trial position adjustments, and specially designed skinsuits.
Kordi also highlighted Hoogland’s formidable strength, noting the challenges they faced in finding equipment resilient enough to withstand his power—ultimately settling on a decade-old time trial bar after newer ones failed to endure.
The project, which cost upwards of €65,000, was backed by various sponsors, including Nederlandse Loterij and Yamaha, showcasing the significant investment in chasing down this record. With Wednesday reserved as a contingency day, Hoogland had already set a 500m record on his first attempt. Inspired by his monumental feat, the Dutch sprinter was scheduled to take on the challenge of the 200m record later the same day.