Vittoria Bussi has reclaimed the UCI Hour Record at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico, fulfilling her aim of becoming the first woman to break the 50km mark.
Bussi covered 50.267km adding more than a kilometre to the previous record held by Ellen Van Dijk, who set the distance to beat at 49.254km in May of last year.
“I’m thrilled to have beaten the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot for the second time in my career, covering the distance of 50.267 kilometres in the same velodrome where I previously broke it in 2018,” said Bussi in a UCI statement.
“I owe this to all those who supported me throughout the years, believing in me and my project. This achievement is the result of outstanding teamwork, and I want to thank everyone who contributed to make it happen.”
The 36-year-old professional cyclist with a PhD in Pure Mathematics from the University of Oxford held the top spot from September 2018 to September 2021, with a distance of 48.007km. British rider Justine Lowden topped that with a 48.405km effort before Van Dijk pushed out the record to a much higher 49.254km.
The previous two records were set in Switzerland, but Bussi had turned to crowdfunding to help her make the attempt in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The rider surpassed her €10,000 target, hitting €12,064 as she sought not to just break the record but also the 50km barrier as she combined her two strengths, cycling and maths.
“As a mathematician, I contribute to aerodynamic and technological studies, aiming to break the 50km mark in the next attempt at the women’s UCI Hour Record,” she explained during the build-up.
The attempt was initially scheduled for Wednesday, October 11 but a sudden drop in weather temperatures made the conditions and speed of the track less than ideal, so it took place on Friday, October 13 instead.
Bussi’s latest record is the seventh new record set since the modernisation of the UCI Hour Record regulations in 2014, with Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, Bridie O’Donnell and Evelyn Stevens also among those who have contributed to pushing the mark higher.