Jens Voigt breaks track cycling's hour record

Jens Voigt
Voigt is better known as a road racer

Germany's Jens Voigt has set a new hour record of 51.115km in Switzerland.

Voigt, 43, completed more than 200 laps of the velodrome to better the previous mark of 49.700km - set by Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka in 2005 - by 1.1415km.

"It's among the biggest highlights of my career," said Voigt, who will now retire from cycling.

The new record was set on a track pursuit bike after governing body, the UCI, changed the rules regarding the use of aerodynamic equipment.

Hour record landmarks*
YearRiderDistance
*Does not include those cancelled from record books by UCI
1876 (first record)Frank Dodds26.508km
1893Henri Desgrange35.325km
1898Willie Hamilton40.781km
1935Giuseppe Olmo45.090km
1972Eddy Merckx49.431km
2000Chris Boardman49.441km
2005Ondrej Sosenka49.700km
2014Jens Voigt51.115km

In 2000, the UCI had ruled that any attempts had to be done using a traditional bike, stifling innovation and cancelling records set by Scotland's Graeme Obree in 1994 and British Olympic champion Chris Boardman two years later.

Boardman returned on a traditional bike in 2000 to set a new record of 49.441km, 10m further than Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, who had held the record from 1972.

Sosenka, 38, whose career ended when he failed a drugs test in 2008, eclipsed Boardman in 2005.

"Now I'm on the list [of record-holders] - nobody is going to strike me off it," Voigt added.

"To be up there with the likes of Merckx and Boardman, I'm now proud that my name is with them."

Sir Bradley Wiggins, 34, is interested in taking on the record in 2015, while Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, a four-time world time-trial champion, has also stated his desire to attempt the record.

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