Bridie O’Donell has set a new women’s UCI Hour Record, riding 46.882 km in 60 minutes at the Super-Drome Velodrome in Adelaide, Australia.
The Australian Time Trial Champion beat the 46.273 km record set by American Molly Shaffer Van Houweling in September by just over 600 metres.
“I was trying to not think about how I was feeling and only focusing on what I was doing. Mindfulness is absolutely vital in an event like this.” – New Women’s UCI Hour Record Holder – Bridie O’Donnell
O’Donnell reported feeling nervous and a little unprepared in her most recent blog entry, saying: “I’ve improved from zero to …. somewhere in the territory of ‘good,’ where ‘great’ is Rohan Dennis, ‘amazing’ is Alex Dowsett and ‘exceptional’ is everybody’s favourite knight rider, Sir Bradley Wiggins. And I still have a lot to learn.”
However, the 41-year-old stuck to the schedule she had planned and clearly the specific training she’s been doing with her coach has paid off. She was riding a Cervelo T4 with U.S.E. R1’s bars and extensions with an R1 aero stem, and wearing a custom fit Endura skin suit with a Kask helmet.
Bridie said following the attempt: “I was trying to not think about how I was feeling and only focusing on what I was doing. Mindfulness is absolutely vital in an event like this because how you feel is kind of irrelevant – you just have to have confidence in the plan. To be honest, yesterday I had no confidence, I felt really nervous, but today I felt a lot more calm and ready and the people around me made me feel reassured.”
Speaking to the UCI she also said: “All this wouldn’t have been possible without the crowd and the team that supported me throughout the project. I can’t believe I broke a world record.”
Bridie’s sports scientist Ken Ballhause commented on what was needed to achieve such a feat, and said: “The Hour Record is such a unique event, pushing the envelope of both physiology and technology to the absolute maximum. So many pieces need to come together in order to achieve the perfect hour and no marginal gain can be overlooked.”
Set up was of course incredibly important, and he said: “While it shares similarities with other cycling disciplines, the consistency of the athletes position during an Hour Record attempt is something unique in cycling. In the case of Bridie’s Hour Record that is 187 laps and 59:45 in the aerodynamic position, while performing on the limit of what is physiologically tolerable.
“When working through the position optimization phase we needed a front end setup that was versatile and adaptable, while having the sought after aerodynamic properties. The [USE] R1 was a logical choice, being the most aerodynamic handlebar available, and having individually adjustable pad stack and pad reach parameters.
“The USE R1 front end has allowed us to balance factors of comfort and aerodynamics, piecing together the best possible aero package for the task at hand.”
Speaking to Muc Off following the event, he said: “Consistency is key and reducing driveline resistance is vital, when keeping the variability in cadence and power to an absolute minimum. Muc-Off’s chain treatment process was a vital link in achieving the Hour Record”.