American Evelyn Stevens set the new World Hour Record for women's cycling at the Colorado Springs velodrome today with a ride of 47.980 kilometers, besting the prior record by over a full kilometer, though falling short of her secondary goal of wiping Jeannie Longo's pre-unification record of 48.149 km.
The recognized record-holder, Bridie O'Donnell of Australia, was among the first to welcome Stevens to her new status.
that is a very cool no. @evelyn_stevens !! Congrats @UCIWomenCycling— Bridie O'Donnell (@Bridie_OD) February 27, 2016
Oh, and here's this post in graphical form:
#UCIHourRecord pic.twitter.com/fS8DM5OCq8— Feargal McKay (@fmk_RoI) February 27, 2016
O'Donnell's mark had been 46.882 km, a record she set just over a month ago. There was little drama in the final 20 minutes or so as Stevens seemed well on pace to set the record, though Longo's (disgraced) mark was generally dangling just off the front. Stevens began to wobble a bit and ran over the foam bumpers a couple times marking the infield portion of the track, but by any human measure she was super strong all the way to the end. Oddly enough, Stevens, 32, is the youngest Hour Record holder in a long, long time. The two holders since unification, O'Donnell and Molly Schafer Van Houwelling, were both over 40 when they broke through. Before that the record belonged to Leontien van Moorsel, who was 43 when she set the pre-unification mark in 2003. Anna Millward of Australia was the last rider under 40 to hold the record, setting the mark in 2000 at age 31.
Who's got next?