Ellen van Dijk reveals that she will attempt the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot on 23 May 2022 at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland.
She is already the proud owner of the rainbow jerseys of UCI World Champion, but now Ellen van Dijk is looking to add another impressive time trialling title to her palmarès this year, the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot.
“This has been a dream of mine for a very long time. The hour record is something that I have always said I wanted to do one day and now that day is finally here. I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about doing it, a mix of excitement and nerves which is normal. You are always just on the edge with big challenges, and this is a huge challenge, so it is going to be exciting and frightening at the same time,” Ellen said.
A challenge four years in the making, Ellen knew she was finally ready to commit to it after her gold medal winning ride in the Women Elite individual time trial at the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Brugge (Flanders), Belgium.
“We started talking about the hour record when I first joined Trek-Segafredo four years ago, but I knew it wasn’t the right time. I was still overcoming injuries and knew I wouldn’t be at my best. Now, however, I know I am ready to really challenge the current benchmark,” continued Ellen.
“It was after UCI World Championships last year when I brought up the subject of attempting the hour record once again. I had won the rainbow jersey which was my big goal last year and I said to myself and the Team that it was time for my next dream, the hour record. It was then at our December training camp when we really started to speak seriously about it and started making plans.”
There are still pieces of the puzzle to be put in place, as well as the remaining Classics to focus on, but Ellen is confident that she will head to Grenchen in May ready to do her absolute best.
“We are still in the process of getting everything prepared for the big day and, of course, I want to continue racing well through all the remaining Spring Classics. This means my focus has not been exclusively on the hour record but that will change by May,” Ellen explained.
“What I am doing already is trying to train more and more on my time trial bike because I will need to hold my position for a very long time. I was at the wind tunnel on Monday and we’ve also done some track testing but the majority of that is still to be done in the coming weeks. Trek is manufacturing a track version of the Speed Concept and Santini will be making me a new kit so we don’t have the exact material I will use on the day yet.
When discussing if she had a target distance in mind, Ellen expressed her respect for the current hour holder of the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot.
“As we haven’t tested the full set up yet, I don’t know exactly what kind of watts I will need to achieve but the aim will just be to try to go as fast as I can for the full sixty minutes. I don’t have a set distance in mind, I just want to break it in the first instance. Of course, it won’t be an easy task because I have a lot of respect for the record set by Joss [Lowden]. She did a really great job and set a high benchmark to reach, 48.4km, so it’s certainly going to be a very very tough hour,” said Ellen.
“Joss also did it in Grenchen and that’s where I will attempt my hour record too,” Ellen continued. “We chose the Velodrome Suisse as it is a very fast track and although attempting it in Mexico, at altitude, might have been even faster it would have required a completely different preparation.”
“It’s cool that the whole team at Trek-Segafredo have been incredibly supportive right from the beginning and that there are so many people involved. I appreciate all the support including that from the Team’s many partners who are also playing an important role in this project,” concluded Ellen.