By Shane Stokes
Ondrej Sosenka has surprisingly beaten the world hour record set by Britain's Chris Boardman in 2000. In Moscow this afternoon, the 29 year-old Czech rider improved on Boardman's record by 259 metres, riding 49.700 km in the hour.
Sosenka competes with the Acqua e Sapone team and is a time trial specialist, winning the prologue of the Uniqa Classic and the stage 4 time trial in the Tour of Belgium this season. The current Czech TT champion has also taken the overall classification of both the Tour of Poland and the Tour of Slovakia in the past, as well as finishing second overall in the Peace Race.
The 29 year-old was faster than Boardman from the very start of today's effort, recording a time of 1'15.01 (versus 1'17.891) for the opening kilometre. He went through the 5 kilometre point over three seconds up, and by the 25 kilometre point he had extended his advantage to just under 7 seconds. This continued to grow to 18 seconds by 40 kilometres.
In his attempt, Sosenka was using a 3.2 kg wheel and 190 mm cranks, with his bike weighing a total of 9.8 kg. The reason for the heavy wheel was that although it was harder to get up to speed, it was easy to maintain it.
Boardman set his distance of 49.441 in Manchester on the 27th of October 2000, improving Eddy Merckx's 1972 mark by just 10 metres. That record marked a new beginning for the discipline, with UCI rules requiring that riders revert back to same sort of technology that Merckx used decades earlier. Called the Athlete's Hour Record, it replaced the Absolute Hour Record standard which permitted the use of aerodynamic bicycles, positions and clothing. Boardman had previously set an Absolute Hour Record of 56.375 in Manchester on the 7th of September 1996.