Select Page

The Hour – by Marcel Hollenstein 15 Feb 2014

marcel 3

First of all a big thank you to all the officials and helpers on the day. Without you “The Hour” would not have been possible. Ian Gray not only lent me a set of wheels to meet the regulations, but also gave me lots of insights and tips in preparation. John Stewart and Oods as my official callers did a great job in keeping me posted on progress. Then the timekeepers and commisaires: Matt van W.; Glenys Taylor; Wayne Fenn and Steve Perry, maybe not the most glamorous job to count laps but you made it official. Thanks also to Phil Ryder for keeping the time splits for my records and Kirsty Kaihau as always ready to capture the event on camera. And lastly, a big thanks to my wife Sharon for the months long encouragement and enduring many dinner conversations with “The Hour” as a topic.

As you recall the day didn’t start terribly well weather wise. However the forecast talked about improvements and calmer conditions later in the day.

I spent the day with as little strenuous exercise as possible – washing cars and vacuum cleaning was about it.

Over at the track it took only half an hour to decide to get on with the challenge. The wind was dropping and Ian felt there was also enough heat left in the surface.

In a few minutes all the jobs were assigned so all there was left to do is warming up, hydrating, checking over the bike a last time and before I knew it – the gun went off.

The first 10 minutes I felt great – in control and the legs responding quite nicely. Feedback from the callers was to back off a bit – preserve and pace – it’s a long way to go. I pressed on backing off ever so slightly. The next 10 minutes were still good. Nicely settled in. A good steady heart rate and the breathing didn’t sound that bad. The frothing around the mouth must have started somewhere around the 30min mark. It was getting tougher now and difficult to maintain a consistent pace around the track as an occasional breeze still made it harder around the top bend. I was still on track to meet the 97-lap target. However I started to lose some time, up to one sec per lap. Focus, focus – don’t panic – you can do it – ride steady and keep it tight around the bends.

A phrase from the great commentator Phil Ligget popped into my head: He’s digging deep into the suitcase of courage…

Then the call came that I was in the last 10min. Time to get ready and empty the tank! Pulling and pushing on the pedals, trying to lift the pace and finish it off. The last 3 laps were extremely hard but also very rewarding. Friends and officials were spread over the length of the track – shouting, clapping, yelling – then the gun – the hour was up.

Yep, the tank was empty and the legs turned to jelly. Really needed that drink now!

So, what are the stats for the ride?

Distance covered: 38.548km (96 laps plus 36.20m)

Average Heart rate: 173 (max 178)

Gear: 53×15 (90 inch or 7.027m)

Average cadence: 91.6

Average lap time: 37.5 sec

the fastest lap was: 35.12 sec;

the slowest was 39:00sec

Number of Laps under 37 sec: 28

Number of Laps btw 37-38 sec: 35

Number of Laps btw 38-39 sec: 33

On the graph below you can see the HR (the red line) and the Speed (blue line), the numbers 1-6 at the bottom are the 10 min splits. The bottom line is altitude (not to worry about here)



In case you are now considering the challenge for whatever age category, I am more

than happy to help out with tips and equipment, and don’t forget the club has plenty

of bikes that meet the regulations for “The Hour”…

• The UCI Hour Record where the athlete is restricted to roughly the same

equipment as Eddy Merckx which means

• No time trial helmets or skin suits

• No disc or tri-spoke wheels. The wheel or rather the rim profile has to fit within a

22 x 22 mm square.

• No aerodynamic bars. Only the standard drops allowed.

• No monocoque frames