A cyclist from Staffordshire has set a new British record for the longest distance covered in an hour, breaking the previous record set by Sir Bradley Wiggins six years ago.
Dan Bigham – who was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme – travelled 54.723 kilometres in 60 minutes at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland on Friday.
He beat Wiggins’ effort, which was set in 2015, by 197 metres.
Bigaham, 29, is not a full-time professional cyclist. He recently finished 16th in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.
In 2019, he won bronze at the World Championships in Yorkshire team time trial mixed relay. He also has two track world cup gold medals under his belt.
Now, he has a national record to his name.
The race that ended Wiggins’ reign
Bigham initially started off at a slower pace per lap than when Wiggins broke his record.
He was lapping in 16.5 seconds or more, but turned on the pace half-way through approaching 27 kilometres.
From then on, he posted times of quicker than 16.1 seconds.
“I’m sure I had a few people scared early on with the pacing, but that was the plan,” he said post-race (via Cycling News).
“It was quite a scary way to ride it because you know you’ve got to pick it up but I paced it really really well.
“I felt I was on a good one. I basically just kept nipping it up and up.
“After 20 minutes, I was like ‘I can nip at this a bit more’. My target was to be 20 seconds back at half-way, and I was only 18 down.
“Then I was sitting at 16.1, 16.0 for the last 25 minutes and was chipping away at the record.
“I thought it was going to bite me but even with 10 minutes to go. Then five minutes to go, it was still there.”
Bigham hinted that he would aim to beat the world record of 55.089 kilometres set by Belgium rider Victor Campenaerts in 2019.
To do this, he needs to enrol into the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI, the world governing body for sports cycling) Registered Testing Pool, an anti-doping safeguard.
This is mandatory for professional riders but non-professional cyclists need to pay £8,000 to be involved.
Financial restrictions meant Bigham couldn’t enrol this time and so if he had have broken the world record, it would not have been officially recognised.
Watch his British Hour Record success here:
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