Molly Shaffer Van Houweling makes history with new women's Uci hour record by covering a distance of 46.274 km at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Van Houweling, 41, rode 209 metres further than the previous mark of 46.065km, established in 2003 by Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel in Mexico City.
The California based rider already held the women’s Us Hour Record (45.637 km), which she set last February, also in Aguascalientes. In addition, she is a five-time Uci Amateur Road World Champion, most recently winning the road race and time trial titles at the 2014 Uci World Cycling Tour Final in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Van Houweling’s Uci Hour Record comes 60 years after the first mark (38.473km) was set by Soviet athlete Tamara Novikova in 1955. The American is the second female rider – after Briton Dame Sarah Storey – to go after cycling’s iconic record since its rules changed in May 2014.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (Uci) modernised and simplified the regulations for the record last year by authorising the use of bikes that comply with the regulations for endurance track events. The new rules have led to an upsurge in interest in the record by riders, with several attempts on the men's Uci Hour Record over recent months before Van Houweling’s perfect hour today in Mexico.
After the attempt, Van Houweling said: "You never know if everything is going to come together on race day. Everyday this week I was thinking, ‘Am I going to be 100 percent? Does my knee hurt? Am I getting the sniffles? Is it too hot? Or too cold?’ I feel fortunate that everything came together today and that I felt in control. I am relieved that everything came together and thankful for everyone that helped me make this – and this live feed – happen".