• David Martin

Victor Campenaerts sets Hour Record

1) How Fast?

Campenaerts started off his race steadily, covering the first 4km at a 53.6kph before beginning to pick up the pace, having recovered from the standing start. At 8km, his pace was up to 54.5kph, and at 12km up to 54.8. Campenaerts continued to build his pace in the first quarter of an hour, covering 13.75km - on pace for 55km if he could remain steady. By the 45-minute mark, Campenaerts had covered 41.25km and was still averaging 55.11kph, but the pain was beginning to bite and his lap times drifted out to 16.4 seconds - but he'd done more than enough to ensure the record at that pace. Campenaerts was aiming to keep an RPM of 105 during the hour record. Campenaerts wasn’t allowed to monitor his power output during the record attempt, as the Hour Record regulations require riders to base their performance on feel and the visual feedback their pit team can provide.

2) Where?

The choice of venue for attempting a feat of this level of difficulty must strike a fine balance between atmospheric conditions, track speed, and available oxygen for a top aerobic performance. The Aguascalientes velodrome is at an altitude of 1,800m, and while the reduced air pressure makes it one of the fastest tracks in the world, performing in the lower oxygen conditions takes specific adaptation. Campenaerts slept in an altitude tent in Belgium and Mexico to simulate an altitude of 3,000m in order to prepare his body for the effort. The short 250m, steep 41° banked high altitudeindoor Aguascalientes track was almost the same size & banking of the sea-level London track were the previous record was set. At 1887m high though, there was less wind resistancefor Campenaerts to cut through due to lower air density at elevation, but also less oxygen to breathe to fuel the intense effort.

3) How Far?

UCI Men's Hour Record Progression

Jens Voigt (Germany) - 51.11 Matthias Brändle (Austria) - 51.852 Rohan Dennis (Australia) - 52.491 Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) - 52.937 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) - 54.526 Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) - 55.089

4) What equipment did he have?

Frameset: Custom Ridley Arena track frameset. Crankset:61×14 setup instead, for quite a bit larger 9.04m per rotation, which works out to an average 101.5rpm cadence over his effort.This large diameter chainring allowed Victor to create a massive amount of angular torque. It was 7.6kg!

Wheels: 22mm wide tubulars

His helmet was an HJC Adwatt aero helmet, and researchers found that without a visor he was more aerodynamic. Wind tunnel testing showed he was faster without anything across his face.

Shoe supplier Gaerne came up with a shoe based on their G.Stilo model, but with a lace fastening underneath a rubber cover to make them as slippery as possible. This is because shoe covers for this record are not allowed, the company found a way to hide laces and other aspects of the shoe that might slow him down.

The uniform was short sleeved instead of long sleeved. The rider noted that the benefits are minimal, and he would rather choose conditions for optimized cooling. Aerodynamically, the advantage of glovesis minimal. But it was also a choice in favor of cooling conditions. The rider stated,” There are veins running around the outsides of your wrists, so you're able to lose heat very well there."

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