Dame Sarah Storey announced today that she will be the first woman to take on the Hour Record since the UCI modified its rules for the event this year. The Paralympic champion will make her attempt during the Revolution Series at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London on Saturday 28th February 2015.
Since the UCI changed its strict "Merckx" equipment rules and opened the door to riders using standard, UCI-legal track pursuit equipment, several male riders have attempted to break the exisiting records.
Storey will be the first female to attempt to surpass the 2003 mark of 46.065km set by Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, and the British rider thinks that she can do it.
"I'm excited and nervous at the prospect of being the first women to take on the record in over a decade," Storey said. "I did a couple of days testing up at the Manchester Velodrome to try and work out the output that would be involved over an hour to have a realistic chance of challenging the record, and we decided that if I can arrive in good shape I stood a fighting chance."
UCI President Brian Cookson was pleased to see Storey challenge for the women's record. "In amending the regulations, the UCI hoped for exactly this kind of motivation from the world's best athletes. Dame Sarah Storey's attempt will be eagerly awaited and I am sure it will prompt other top women riders to try to claim this prestigious record."
Record owner Van Moorsel is not impressed by the changes to the UCI regulations - in 2003 she raced on a traditional frame with no aerodynamic equipment, and said that comparing her mark to that of a rider on a modern bike with disc wheels and pursuit bars would be "apples and oranges".
"I trained for two years to reach that speed in that position," Van Moorsel said to ANP of her success in breaking Jeannie Longo's record in 2003. "With disc wheels and time trial bars, Storey will be riding in a perfect aerodynamic position. It's comparing apples and oranges."