Sir Bradley Wiggins isn’t the only cyclist to have had a crack at an Hour record in a London Olympic venue in the past couple of weeks – Rob Holden took to the track at Herne Hill Velodrome last month and rode 31.285km on a Boris Bike, nearly four times heavier than the Pinarello Bolide HR Wiggins rode on Sunday.
It’s the third and last in a series of challenges that the 48-year-old has undertaken on the three-speed 23kg city hire bike, all of them aimed at raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support.
In 2013, he and two friends hired one in South London, drove to Provence where he rode it up Mont Ventoux, and got it back on the docking station inside 24 hours.
Last year, they headed across the Atlantic to tackle Mount Washington, the highest peak in the north-eastern United States, with Rob riding a New York City Citibike, virtually identical to the London Santander Cycles bikes.
Speaking of his latest exploit, which took place on the morning of 29 May, Rob said: “60 minutes may not sound a lot. But going as hard as you can at 110 revs a minutes is agony.
“You’ve really got to focus. You’ve got to concentrate on holding that line, the shortest line around the track.
“You’ve got to keep your rhythm, you’ve got to keep your cadence up, and you’ve got to stay in control.
“So pacing is everything and you’re really aiming to stay as close to that pace right through to 10 minutes to go and then you quite literally empty the tanks from there.
“The last 10 minutes of the ride is where you have to put everything out there, it’s the hardest mental challenge of the whole ride.
After crossing the line for the final time after the 60 minutes were up, he said: “Never again.”
He added: “I’m sure every Hour rider says it but my butt probably hurts the most, sat in that same position.”
So far, his ride has raised nearly £350 for Macmillan Cancer Support on his Just Giving page.
It’s the second unusual attempt at setting an Hour record we’ve seen in recent weeks – last month, Matt Richardson rode a Raleigh Chopper for 31.9km on the track at Palmer Park in Reading.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.