On April 16, 2019, Belgian Victor Campenaerts broke Bradley Wiggins’ June 2015 hour record of 54.526-km in Aguascalientes, Mexico’s velodrome. Campenaerts completed 55.089-km on a Ridley bike set up with 60-14 gearing.
— Lotto Soudal (@Lotto_Soudal) April 16, 2019
Campenaerts races for Lotto-Souda a UCI WorldTour team. He has twice been the Belgian national time trial champion and twice the European time trial champion. He also was a junior triathlete in Belgium, racing with the likes of Marten Van Riel (BEL) and Andreas Schilling (DEN).
To set the new hour record, the Belgian had to cover 219 laps of the 250-metre track. Campenaerts has now become the sixth rider to break the record since the UCI’s 2014 rule change as to what bikes could be used.
The Belgian appeared to pace his effort timely against the previous record set by Wiggins. Ten minutes into his effort, he was averaging 54.689 km/h. He covered 20-km in 21:48 at 55.049 km/h, while Wiggins had rolled 20-km at 54.573 km/h. At the 30-minute point, he had rolled 27.5-km.
What an effort so far from the @Lotto_Soudal rider! 👏
— UCI Track Cycling (@UCI_Track) April 16, 2019
He started to slow in the last 10-minutes. However, he eclipsed Wiggins’ marker with 38-seconds to go.
Campenaerts set aside most of the early 2019 season to concentrate on the record. Over the winter he did his training at altitude in Namibia and on the track in Aguascalientes, which sits 1800-metres above sea level. He did race Tirreno-Adriatico – a week-long WorldTour stage race where he won the final time trial.
A version of this story is on Canadian Cycling Magazine.