Australian cyclist Bridie O’Donnell will attempt to break the Women’s UCI Hour Record at the beginning of next year. Scheduled for January 22, her attempt will be part of the Santos Tour Down Under week at the Super-Drome in Adelaide, Australia.
O’Donnell’s challenge will come just four months after American Molly Shaffer Van Houweling set the new mark of 46.273km in Aguascalientes, Mexico. In September this year, Van Houweling rode 208 metres further than the previous mark of 46.065km, established in 2003 by Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel in Mexico City.
Bridie O’Donnell has represented Australia at three UCI Road World Championships and made twelve podium appearances at Australian and Oceania Championships in the past decade. The 41-year-old physician has been training for the attempt for twelve months, ever since the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) modernised and simplified the regulations for the record by authorising the use of bikes that comply with the regulations for endurance track events.
“The renewed interest and motivation surrounding the UCI Hour Record continues into 2016,” said UCI President Brian Cookson. “Molly Shaffer Van Houweling set a difficult target in September and it will be very interesting to see if that can be beaten next January.
“The fact that this new attempt coincides with our opening event of the 2016 UCI WorldTour, the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia, will add to the excitement of this first attempt of the year on the Women’s UCI Hour Record.”
“It’s going to be a massive challenge now that Molly (Shaffer Van Houweling) has set a new world mark of 46.273kms, but I believe I’m on target and the team around me has supported and encouraged me to no end,” saidBridie O’Donnell. “Everything’s going to plan, and I’m hoping for a big crowd in Adelaide as it’s being staged during the Santos Tour Down Under.”
The Australian track sprint team headed by Anna Meares, Stephanie Morton and Matt Glaetzer will race at Adelaide’s Super Drome prior to the attempt as part of their preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
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