Matthias Brändle, double Friends Life Tour of Britain stage winner, has broken the Hour Record

Austrian cyclist Matthias Brändle broke the UCI Hour Record at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, on Thursday evening.
The rider from IAM Cycling covered the distance of 51.852 km, an improvement of 742 metres on Jens Voigt’s performance (51.110 km) of September 18th in Granges, Switzerland.
Almost 25 years of age, Matthias Brändle, three times Austrian Champion in the time trial, now enters the pantheon of prestigious holders of the record, alongside famous riders such as Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Francesco Moser.
His predecessor Voigt, a German rider with the Trek Factory team, held the record for just five weeks after breaking the long-standing mark of 49.700 km, established in 2005 by the Czech Republic’s Andrej Sosenka.
The two latest attempts, carried out in quick succession, are the result of the modernisation of the UCI Hour Record rules in May this year. The new rules authorise all bikes which can be used for endurance track events.
After his attempt, Matthias Brändle said it had been extremely difficult both physically and mentally: “In the first few minutes I just wanted to get on with it but then it became more complicated. Between 30 and 50 minutes was the hardest and I asked myself ‘why did I choose to do this kind of event?’ Then in the last 10 minutes, it’s the mental that takes over and with the amazing crowd behind me it was easier. Now I am really happy.
“I think it was good that the UCI updated the rules (for the UCI Hour Record). It meant I was able to use almost the same bike as I used (for the time trial) at the Road World Championships. It’s a really good change.”
UCI President Brian Cookson could not hide his enthusiasm after witnessing the establishment of the new record: “What Matthias has just achieved is a tremendous accomplishment. He is the first rider to come so close to the 52 km mark. It’s a very special moment for cycling and for the UCI Hour Record.
“I would like to thank IAM Cycling and Scott for taking up this challenge and I congratulate them for their excellent preparation, which has resulted in this new feat.
“The UCI Hour Record is an example of our sport in its purest form, with the riders really putting themselves on the line. I believe it is one the hardest goals to achieve requiring perfect preparation and focus.
 “Finally, I hope that the achievements of Jens and Matthias will inspire other great riders to attempt to beat one of the most challenging records in our sport.”