Joss Lowden hoping to boost Hour Record hype with upcoming attempt

Joscelin Lowden (Great Britain)
Joscelin Lowden (Great Britain) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Joss Lowden believes her upcoming UCI Hour Record attempt could be a big moment for women's cycling, with a successful ride possibly sparking a wave of new attempts and interest.

The 33-year-old Briton outlined her intentions to go for the record earlier this year, and the attempt was confirmed yesterday, set for September 30 at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland at 5 p.m. local time.

It will be televised and streamed live, and has been backed and bankrolled by Lowden's Drops LeCol team. The ride has been described as "nothing short of epic" by partner and fellow pro Dan Bigham.

"I think it's a good thing for women's cycling that it's happening," Lowden said after securing a top 10 in Monday's elite women's individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.

"There's been so much hype around the men doing it, but there's not really enough about the women, so I'm hoping it will make other women try."

Whereas there have been 23 recognised attempts on the men's record since the 2014 rule revisions reignited interest in the historic discipline, there have only been six women to have taken it on. The benchmark currently stands at 48.007 metres, set by Italian Victoria Bussi at the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico in 2018.

It has already been revealed that Lowden has gone further than that in training, although she's not getting ahead of herself just yet.

"I'm not quite where I was hoping to be but I'm not a million miles off so hopefully it's enough," she said after the Worlds time trial. "There were moments just then when I thought 'god, if you're finding these few-minute intervals hard work, just think about the Hour!'

"We'll see. The form's not bad. I'm hoping as the week goes on I'll peak into it," she added. "The time on the TT bike has been pretty useful actually. Overall you're just looking for that level of cardiovascular fitness and physiologically being in a good place. Also, being happy and in a good place is worth a lot of watts."

Hours before Drops Le Col launched a dedicated page on their website showcasing the attempt, along with the announcement of the live streaming, Lowden admitted to feeling the butterflies.

"It's daunting," she said. "You kind of start to think 'god, this is quite a big statement'. When you go for a world record you're sort of saying 'I'm better than any female who's gone before me who's tried this'. You kind of start to think 'really? Is that really a statement I want to make?'

"My style is more to slip under the radar and go do things quietly, then afterwards go 'ah that was really good', but you realise that people want to see it, because it's exciting."

Lowden looked up at the podium ceremony unfolding on the television screens, where Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) was being presented with the rainbow jersey.

"Imagine if you sent Ellen on the Hour Record - it would be amazing," she said, before adding, "But give me a moment with it first."

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