In a historic turn of events, Italian cyclist Vittoria Bussi reclaimed her women’s hour record, previously held by Dutch competitor Ellen Van Dijk. The feat was performed on the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where Bussi shattered expectations and previous benchmarks by covering an astounding 50.267 km. The accomplishment didn’t merely regain the title for Bussi but also demolished the significant 50 km barrier, outdoing Van Dijk’s prior record by more than a kilometre (Van Dijk’s record stood at 49.254 km/h). It’s all the more remarkable given the record attempt was postponed until Friday 13th October 2023 due to less-than-perfect weather conditions.
The reclaiming of the title was not a spur-of-the-moment decision for Bussi, who had previously held the hour record from 2018 until 2021. She had gone to great lengths to prepare for this endeavour, including launching a GoFundMe campaign that raised €12,000. The funds supported her continued training and undeniably fueled her dream, which was emphatically realised.
The women’s hour record is an esteemed achievement in professional cycling, requiring both technical skill and peak physical conditioning. It has been an indicator of excellence since its inception, with the earliest modern UCI women’s hour record standing at a distance of 41.347 km set by Tamara Novikova back in 1955. Over the years, the record has been broken by significant names in the sport such as Jeannie Longo, Leontien van Moorsel, and more recently, by Britain’s own Yvonne McGregor in 1995 with a distance of 47.411 km. Bussi’s recent feat contributes to a storied history of female athleticism in cycling and raises the bar yet further for competitors eyeing the hour record.
With this recent accomplishment, Bussi didn’t just write a page in the history of women’s cycling; she virtually rewrote the book, setting a daunting new standard for future challengers to the women’s hour record.