Ellen van Dijk smashes UCI World Hour Record

View the reactions from Ellen's record-breaking ride in the Tissot Velodrome

Ellen van Dijk has etched her name into cycling’s history books after smashing the UCI Hour Record in the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland.

Van Dijk surpassed the distance set by Joss Lowden of 48.405  kilometers by an incredible 800 meters – a full minute quicker! – to set a new record of 49.254 kilometers.

Ellen was ahead of the required time throughout. She knew early on that if she maintained her pace, even with some slowing, she would have the new record.

“In the beginning, I was a bit nervous, but under control I think,” she explained. “I did exactly what we wanted to do. In the first half-hour, I was around 18.1-18.2 [seconds per lap) and that was well under the pace I knew I needed to ride, so I thought if I don’t slow down too much and don’t go over [18.5] then I should have it. I don’t think I was ever over 5, maybe sometimes, but I couldn’t hear everything.”

Ellen tried to will more out of her legs in the second half but admitted that her body could not respond.

“If I felt great I wanted to accelerate in the second part. At 45 minutes I thought ‘Okay, I need to accelerate’ and I thought I was accelerating, but I was actually slowing down.  Then the time started to tick down really really slow. I have to say!”

The pain is felt everywhere in the final moments, but Ellen’s aero position never wavered.  As the clocked tick towards one hour, the cheering grew louder from friends and family in the velodrome, urging her on in the final minutes.

“Everything became a little blurry, especially at the end, and I was not so straight anymore,” admitted Ellen, whose jersey displayed the all-important motto, ‘Hold the line’. “I was just so happy when I heard that it was over. This was all I had for today and I am very happy I broke the record!”

The suffering was over, and what she had just accomplished was still sinking in.

“This whole project has been so amazing for me, the whole build was such a great experience. I couldn’t wish for more support from Trek, it was really, really the best I have ever had,” said van Dijk. “During the ride, I thought about the whole team, everyone who put some much into this, and I need to give everything for all their work and time and everything. In the end, all I can say is: Ride bikes, have fun, feel good!” Ellen laughed.


Reactions from around the cycling world

After breaking the UCI World Hour record, congratulations poured in from the cycling world.

From compatriots:


To those who have been there:

A small race in Italy:

The UCI (of course):

And our friends in cycling media: