Earlier this month, Jens Voigt bid farewell to his racing career by setting a new Hour Record. The German demolished the previous record of Ondřej Sosenka and at 43 he also became the oldest holder of the title.
While he only announced his intentions to take it on at the beginning of September, Voigt had always harboured ambitions of pitting himself against the hour. “The Hour Record was always interesting for me,” he told InCycle as they followed him in his build-up to the event. “I was always fascinated by this even, because it is the ultimate hour of truth. There’s no tactics, there’s only you and how much pain you can bear.”
Voigt’s journey began back in June when he travelled to the Roubaix velodrome for a series of tests to asses whether beating the record was a real possibility. Once the team was happy with that, it was all systems go. The German’s attempt wouldn’t have happened if the UCI hadn’t changed their rules on the type of bike a rider could use.
“We changed the bearings for extra-light running bearings to see if we could get an extra two watts there,” Voigt explained the lengths to which Trek were willing to go to make a race-winning bike. “The chain is specially lubricated, there is a company that took the old grease out and put a super-light paraffin, Teflon mix so that there was less friction and you can save another few hundred watts. Everything counts.”
The meticulousness paid off, with Voigt setting a new record of 51.115. Follow Voigt and Trek in this exclusive behind the scenes InCycle video.
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