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Italian racer Vittoria Bussi has launched a fundraising campaign as she targets Ellen van Dijk’s UCI Hour Record in 2023.
Bussi, a mathematician and former professional, has previously held the hour record title but now has the 50km mark in her sights.
The 35-year-old set a record distance of 48.007km in 2018, following a failed attempt the previous year, beating American Evelyn Stevens’ record by less than 100 meters. Joss Lowden beat Bussi’s benchmark by nearly 400 meters last year before Van Dijk pushed the bar some 849m further.
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With no team to back her, Bussi has started a fundraising campaign with a goal of €10,000. She hopes that hitting the 50km mark will help inspire younger riders.
“Because accessing the hour record involves huge expenses, and to complete the budget that serves to formalize my attempt, I need your help,” Bussi wrote on her GoFundMe page.
“The record is something that goes beyond the sporting result. It represents a possibility that you give me today and that tomorrow will be the dream of a young cyclist; the possibility of believing and going all the way despite the fact that the roads ahead are often tortuous for those who choose to be independent athletes and entrepreneurs.
“With my math skills, I contribute to aerodynamic and technological studies. I intend to break down the 50km wall and take the women’s record beyond this limit.”
In addition to taking on the UCI Hour Record, Bussi is aiming to have a more lasting impact on the sport and help support young riders at the beginning of their careers.
“Everything I’ve learned and received over the years, on and off the track, I want to give back. I fight to promote a cultural change so that road safety is no longer a hope but a reality. I am committed to ensuring that women’s cycling is treated on an equal footing with men’s,” Bussi said.
“My desire is to found a cycling academy dedicated to a new generation of athletes, girls who are aware of their value, beyond the result. Because sport changes lives, I tried it on my skin.
“On the track, I seem alone against the clock, but I’m never alone because I bring with me all the people who believe in my fight. Thanks to those who want to support me in this new venture.”