Formolo, Sperotto set novelty 'slowest hour' record at 918 metres

Davide Formolo at the Giro d'Italia
Davide Formolo at the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Davide Formolo and Maria Vittoria Sperotto set the record on October 30 but the cycling world is just now waking up to a strange but official mark for the shortest distance covered in one hour at just 918 metres - the Slowest Hour Record - at the Velodromo Rino Mercante di Bassano del Grappa.

The record-setting effort was broadcast live last month but gained worldwide attention on Wednesday after being mentioned in the weekly La Repubblica delle Biciclette broadcast on ScratchTV (opens in new tab).

The two Italians were the first to go under one kilometre, and set their records at the Festival del Ciclista Lento, bettering the mark set at the same festival by Bruno Zanoni in 2019 - 1,070 metres.

Not to be confused with the official UCI Hour Record, the Slowest Hour is a test not of raw speed, power and pain tolerance but one of skill, balance and patience. Riders do not invest thousands of Euro in high-tech aerodynamic equipment. They must only use a geared bicycle without brakes, cannot come to a complete stop, and have to ride forward at the slowest possible speed.

They were not the first to try and break Zanoni's record - former pro Gilberto Simoni tried and failed at 1,072 metres, while another ex-pro Alan Marangoni tried last year and ended with 1,350 metres.

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