American Evelyn Stevens confirmed today she will make an attempt to break the UCI Hour Record, which currently stands at 46.882km, set by Australian Bridie O'Donnell in January. Stevens will try to better that distance on February 27 in the newly covered Colorado Springs velodrome.
Stevens is the second American woman to make an attempt. Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the long-standing record of 46.065km set by Leontien van Moorsel without aerodynamic gear in Mexico City in 2003. Van Houweling rode 46.273km over the hour in September, 2015 in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
“While attempting to break the UCI Hour Record is exciting for me and my career, I’m also proud to help shine a light on women’s cycling,” Stevens said. “This will be a special day, and it’s an honour to make my record attempt under the new dome at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome.”
It will be the third Hour Record attempt by a woman since the UCI modernised the rules for the event in 2014, allowing any equipment that is legal for endurance track events. Sarah Storey fell short of breaking Van Moorsel's mark in February, 2015. Bradley Wiggins holds the men's Hour Record at 54.526km.
UCI President Brian Cookson has been a champion of the Hour Record's revival, and hailed Stevens' announcement as confirmation of the event's rising importance. “The current Women’s UCI Hour Record will be only five weeks old when Evelyn Stevens tries to establish a new mark," Cookson said. "Bridie O’Donnell set a tough mark last month, and I am looking forward tremendously to following this next challenge. It is clear that the excitement surrounding the iconic UCI Hour Record will be just as high in 2016 as it was last year when we saw six attempts on the men’s record and two on the women’s record.”
Like Van Houweling, Stevens will make her attempt at altitude. The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome, a 333.3-meter banked cement track is over 1800m in altitude. Aguascalientes is at 1880m.
USA Cycling CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall was pleased to have the venue chosen for the attempt. “We are thrilled that Evie is attempting to break this very prestigious record here in the United States in front of an international audience. Having one of our top American athletes chase history under our new Olympic Training Center Velodome will be very special. We are grateful to the U.S. Olympic Committee for making this event possible with the recent dome and in helping us host this event later this month.”
Stevens' attempt will be made using her Boels Dolmans team equipment, which has been honed in the wind tunnel with Bioracer, Specialized and Zipp. She will use a Specialized Shiv modified for the track with a Zipp 900 front wheel and a Super 9 rear disc, and a Bioracer skinsuit.
She will start at 12:00 MST/14:00EST/20:00CET, and the attempt will be streamed live online.