Ellen van Dijk to make hour record attempt in May

The Dutch rider will complete her classics campaign before turning her focus to the track in May.

Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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Ellen van Dijk will attempt the hour record on May 23.

The world time trial champion confirmed Wednesday that she would attempt to best the record of 48.405km set by Joss Lowden last September.

Van Dijk will do her hour record ride at the velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland, the same place that Lowden set her record.

“This has been a dream of mine for a very long time. The hour record is something that I have always said I wanted to do one day and now that day is finally here,” van Dijk said.

“I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about doing it, a mix of excitement and nerves which is normal. You are always just on the edge with big challenges, and this is a huge challenge, so it is going to be exciting and frightening at the same time.”

Also read: Joss Lowden rides 48.405km in new world hour record

Van Dijk’s will be only the ninth hour record attempt by a woman since the regulations were changed in 2014. Five of those attempts were successful and have raised the bar by two kilometers in that time.

As well as being the current European road race champion, van Dijk is the reigning world time trial champion after beating Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser by 10 seconds in Flanders last year. It was her second time trial world title after taking victory in the discipline at the 2013 worlds in Florence.

The hour record has been a long time in the making for van Dijk and the Dutch woman finally felt that the time was right after securing the rainbow bands for the second time last year.

“We started talking about the hour record when I first joined Trek-Segafredo four years ago, but I knew it wasn’t the right time. I was still overcoming injuries and knew I wouldn’t be at my best. Now, however, I know I am ready to really challenge the current benchmark,” she said.

“It was after UCI world championships last year when I brought up the subject of attempting the hour record once again. I had won the rainbow jersey which was my big goal last year and I said to myself and the team that it was time for my next dream, the hour record. It was then at our December training camp when we really started to speak seriously about it and started making plans.”

Though it has been some time since she competed on the track, van Dijk does have some pedigree on the boards. She won the scratch race world title in Manchester in 2008 and has two under-23 European titles in the scratch and points races.

While the hour record is on the horizon for van Dijk, she has some other pressing concerns in her immediate future. This weekend, she will be one of the favorites for the second edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Once the spring classics are out of the way, van Dijk will be able to put her full effort into the record attempt.

“We are still in the process of getting everything prepared for the big day and, of course, I want to continue racing well through all the remaining spring classics. This means my focus has not been exclusively on the hour record but that will change by May,” van Dijk said.

“What I am doing already is trying to train more and more on my time trial bike because I will need to hold my position for a very long time. I was at the wind tunnel on Monday, and we’ve also done some track testing but the majority of that is still to be done in the coming weeks. Trek is manufacturing a track version of the Speed Concept and Santini will be making me a new kit so we don’t have the exact material I will use on the day yet.”

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