Monday, January 24, 2022
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Joss Lowden – Olympic Rider has eyes on The Hour Record

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We all know that the Men’s World Hour Record Holder is Victor Campenaerts of Belgium with 55.089 kilometres – albeit shy of Tony Rominger’s 55.291 kilometres set on a bike which only fails to meet current criteria because the front wheel was an inch smaller than the rear, but that rant’s for another day.

But how about the women’s record?

It’s been held since 2018 by Italy’s Vittoria Bussi with 48.007, she added 27 metres to US rider, Evelyn Stevens 2016 distance on the rapid high altitude Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico.

But, a certain British rider, Joss Lowden who rides for Drops Le Col, on the sea level Derby track in England rode 48.160km – 153m further than the current distance in an ‘unofficial’ one hour ride witnessed by her partner, fast man, Dan Bigham and the legend that is Sean Yates.  

Joss Lowden in her unofficial Hour ride. Photo©supplied

She’ll be going for the official UCI record in Switzerland later this year; through the kind offices of Sasha Castling at Ribble Cycles – whose machines the Drops Le Col ladies team rides – Joss granted us an interview from Tokyo where she’s Team GB reserve rider for the individual time trial and road race:

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden. Photo©Ribble Cycles

Tokyo, congratulations on getting on to the Olympic squad, the call must have come late, did it come as a surprise? 

“Yes, I didn’t expect to be on the short list so to be put forward as a reserve was more than I had hoped for. 

“Fortunately, because we have races across the whole year I only had to adapt my training and preparation slightly to ensure I was in a good place in case I was needed to fill in while we were in Tokyo.” 

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden finished fifth at Brabaantse Pijl. Photo©Rhode

It sounds like it’s HOT out there – and what are the roads like for training? 

“It’s warm but it’s not insufferable.

“We are fortunate that we have team support with us when we ride so we have plenty of cold drinks and nutrition to hand. The roads are in really condition; super smooth and really lovely to ride out. 

“We are enjoying the riding a lot.”

There’s a lot of media talk that the Japanese public are ‘anti’ The Games, what’s your take on that? 

“It’s hard to say as we are staying out of the city and the reception we have received when out riding has been very positive with lots of waves, smiles and photos and the villages have flags and posters up. 

“But of course this is just a small snapshot so it could well be a different story elsewhere?”

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden recce’s the Liege-Bastogne-Liege parcours. Photo©Rhode

Tell us about ‘the bubble’ you’re in. 

“It’s just the road team (so the men, women and staff) and we just ride, eat, massage, sleep. It’s actually a perfect environment for training and preparation for racing.” 

GB has just one rider in the TT and two in the road race and you’re reserve for both? 

“That’s correct. 

“I think that it’s helpful to Anna Shackley – the team selection – to have me here too as means another pair of eyes and legs on the TT course in the recces where there’s so much to gain in really knowing the course and how to ride it, so I’m happy to help.” 

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden in yellow at the Tour de Feminin. Photo©Josef Vaishar

You must be pleased with your win in the Tour Feminin in the Czech Republic – you were just two seconds behind hour record holder, Bussi in the TT?