Australian Bridie O’Donnell will aim to break Molly Shaffer Van Houweling’s women’s UCI Hour Record of 46.274 kilometres, making her attempt at Adelaide’s Super-Drome velodrome on January 22, 2016. The attempt will be made on the same day as stage 3 of the Tour Down Under which is also held in Adelaide.
A strong time trialist, O’Donnell won the 2008 Australian national time trial title and has gone on to claim the silver medal in 2010 and 2015, and the bronze medal in 2012 and 2014 since then. The 41-year-old full time orthopaedic surgeon enjoyed stints of racing in Europe and North America and represented Australia at the World Championships but in recent years has focused on racing the National Road Series (NRS) with the Total Rush team that also includes the overall series winner Ruth Corset.
Van Houweling’s record was set at altitude in Aguascalientes, Mexico last month, breaking Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel’s 12-year-old record by 209 metres. Sarah Storey had attempted the Hour Record earlier in the year, falling 563 metres short but breaking the British record with her distance of 45.502km.
In the last year Jens Voigt, Matthias Brandle, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alex Dowsett and Bradley Wiggins all made attempts at the Hour Record but in the same time period Van Houweling and Storey were the only two women to attempt the record
Australian Anna Wilson holds the national record after she broke the women’s hour record on 18 October 2000, riding 43.501km at the Vodafone Arena, Melbourne only to see Jeannie Longo break the record days later on November 5. O’Donnell’s attempt is the first by an Australian woman since Wilson’s 15 years ago.
O’Donnell’s attempt will be the first at the at Super-Drome velodrome, which features 250m laps, and will be available to view on a live stream. The velodrome seats 3,000 spectators with an announcement on ticketing for the event to be forthcoming.
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