Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeInterviewsJoss Lowden - the New Women's World Hour Record Holder!

Joss Lowden – the New Women’s World Hour Record Holder!


We recently ran an interview with Italy’s Vittoria Bussi, the women’s world hour record holder – best make that ‘former’ holder of the women’s world hour record…

When we spoke to Britain’s Joss Lowden back in July she told us about her intention of attacking the world hour record. She’d already exceeded Bussi’s 48.007 kilometres in a ‘test’ ride with 48.160 kilometres, but ‘tests’ are one thing, the pressure of an official UCI attempt is another.

However, she turned intent into action on the boards of the Grenchen Velodrome in Switzerland with 48.405 kilometres on 30th September, well in excess of her own ‘test’ ride distance and Bussi’s record.  

The next day her partner, Dan Bigham broke Bradley Wiggins’ British hour record on the same boards, sealing an exciting couple of days for the pair.

We caught up with Joss after the British Championships where she had a successful campaign with silver in the Time Trial and bronze in the Road Race. 

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden celebrates her Hour Record distance. Photo©Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Congratulations, Joss – stating your intention to go for the record, that’s ‘head on the chopping block’ stuff?

“It was so much pressure and I didn’t really enjoy it.

“I prefer to just go and do it then talk about it after; it was a big claim to make and a risky proposition, coming as it did after the Worlds.”

Tell us about your preparation for the record please.

“I had a bit of a break with injury over May and June which I think helped me avoid burn out.

“At the end of August I was training at altitude in Sierra Nevada and from there I tapered into the Worlds.

“If I was doing it again I’d do more volume but it’s hard to fit it all in – training, rest, racing…

“And going from the Worlds straight to Switzerland and the record attempt was a bit nutty!”

The bike?

“An Argon 18, an ex-HUUB team bike, Dan selected the equipment: Wattshop ‘Anemoi’ aero bars and extension, Izumi chain, Speedplay pedals, FFWD wheels shod with Vittoria tubs.

“I wore a McLaren Le Col speedsuit and a POC helmet.” 

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden rode Ashton Lambie’s old frame for her Hour Record ride. Photo©Tom Griffiths

What gear did you ride and how did you chose the ratio?

“It rather choses itself – you work out the target distance, the cadence which suits you and that gives you the gear.

“I come from a road background so I’m not used to that high cadence track stuff – I chose 90/91 rpm and that meant a 64 x 15 ratio, that’s a pretty low cadence in the track world but it suited me.” 

What was your pace strategy?

“I wanted to go out just above record pace then pick it up at half distance, it went to plan except that I began to feel sick in the last 10 minutes of the ride.” 

From speaking to previous hour record riders, I believe it’s easy to ‘over cook’ it early because the pace seems to feel ‘easy?’

“Having done the test ride was helpful but you do feel like you want to go harder early because it does feel ‘easy’ at first, Dan was shouting, ‘relax!’ to me from track side.

“But I have to tell you, the last 10 minutes seem longer than the first 50 minutes!”

Aches and pains?

“With 25 minutes to go I started to get pins and needles in my right foot and leg, that was a bit of a worry but it passed.

“And, as I said, I was feeling sick during the last 10 minutes – and my mouth and throat were very dry, not a nice feeling.”

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden rode around 90rpm in her Hour Record ride. Photo©James Huntly

Next day?

“I didn’t sleep very well, perhaps the caffeine gels played a part in that but I suppose the best way to describe it was that I felt like a had a bit of a hangover.

“Dehydration would play its part too, it took me two hours to be able to provide a sample for the doping control.” 

And if you went again?

“The day itself went pretty smoothly but I’d chose not to ride the World Championships on the run in, I’d travel less too, and have my more volume in my training.

“There were also bits and pieces of equipment which might have been beneficial but we didn’t have time to test them prior to the ride.”

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden would change a couple of things were she to go for the Hour Record again. Photo©Tom Griffiths

Has the previous record holder, Vittoria Bussi been in touch?

“Not since the ride but she did post a ‘good luck’ message to me on Instagram before I rode.” 

Changing the subject, you were eighth in the World Time Trial Championship, were you happy with that?

“I was quite happy but didn’t think it was my best ride, there were so many places I could have made time in that ride but all in all I was happy with it.”

The British Road Championships went well for you with silver in the Time Trial and bronze in the Road Race.

“I was disappointed not to do a better time trial but I was lucky to get silver; I’m not making excuses but I was a little sick coming out of the Tour of Britain. Then again, I think half the peloton came out of that race a bit under the weather. 

“And Anna Henderson did a great ride to win. 

“The road race was wet but I really enjoyed it, I didn’t think that it the race winning split would happen on the first lap but it made things safer on the wet roads and technical sections.”

Joss Lowden
Joss Lowden (l) on the podium at the British Time Trial Championships. Photo©George Wood

Some time off now then Uno-X Pro Cycling Team for 2022?

“That’s it, chill for a bit then think about next year.

“I was going to stay with Drops Le Col; I had a couple of offers but I’ve been aware that the men’s Uno-X set up is a good one and when they contacted me after the Tokyo Olympics and made me an offer I could see that it was a great opportunity.

“They have such good back up in terms of management, coaches, nutritionists – and a great programme.”


“I’ve always worked throughout my cycling career, on analytics with NTT, they’ve been great allowing me to work flexible hours but next year I’ll be a full time athlete.

“I’ll have more time for training and rest.

“And next year is exciting with the Ladies’ Tour de France and Commonwealth Games – and Dan and I are going to move to Andorra to live and train for 2022, so a lot to look forward to.”

With thanks again for her time and best wishes for the future to Joss Lowden, Women’s World Hour Record Holder.

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Inga Thomson – “All I wanted to do was race my bike as hard as I could”

Inga Thompson started racing as a professional cyclist in 1984 and went on to ride the Los Angeles Olympics Road race the same year, where she finished 21st. She rode two more Olympics and has ten National Championships. Add three World championship silver medals and you have a full palmarès.

Katie Archibald – the new World Omnium Champion!

Once again we’re proud to bring you an exclusive interview with Olympic Team Pursuit Champion, Katie Archibald where she tells us about her latest triumph, in the World Omnium Championship – and puts us chauvinists at VeloVeritas securely in our box! But we still respect and love the lady.

Jim Gladwell – the current Scottish Hour Record Holder who’s planning another attempt

When VeloVeritas was at the Copenhagen Six Day last month, we witnessed a successful attempt on the Danish Hour record by Martin Toft. It got us thinking; ‘is Jim Gladwell still the Scottish Hour record holder?’ And indeed he is – ‘best have a word,’ we thought to ourselves...

Catharine Pendrel Takes Gold in the Commonwealth Games 2014 – Cross Country Mountain Bike, Elite Women

Three times the cross country mountain bike event has been in the Commonwealth Games (introduced in 2002, it didn't feature on the programme in Dehli four years ago) and three times Canada have topped the womens' podium. This time it was the turn of Catharine Pendrel, who took control of the race midway round the first of five laps and wasn't challenged again, soloing to a 70 second win over her teammate Emily Batty, with Australian rider Rebecca Henderson third a further 12 seconds back, after a race-long battle with Batty.

Jo Patterson – CTT 100 Mile TT Champion

Jo Patterson – who has just won the CTT 100 Mile TT with a stunning 3:42 ride in Wales, riding for The Independent Pedaler-Nopinz - has represented Ireland internationally and was born in England but she lives in Scotland and works in Wishae – that’s ‘Wishaw’ to non-natives… ‘good enough for us,’ we thought to ourselves.

Louise Garbett – the First Ever Tour Féminin White Jersey Winner

Just turned 19 years-old, Louise Garbett finished the biggest race in the world on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and was escorted to the podium along with Laurent Fignon and Greg Lemond to receive the overall White Jersey for the first ever Tour de France Feminine.

At Random

Davide Rebellin – “It is a wonderful opportunity and a privilege to be a professional cyclist”

A few weeks ago I posted on social media a picture of Davide Rebellin in his new Sovac-Natura4ever team strip for 2018; his 27th season as a professional. I commented that he was a ‘remarkable man.’ Immediately I was informed that I was, ‘glorifying a doper.’ When I responded by asking how he was any different to the pundits, TV commentators, self-styled fashion gurus and authors who have all fallen foul of the testers but are now accepted by the cycling community - no one could tell me. Former ‘cross star Barry Davies suggested that I organise an interview with the Italian; ‘good idea,’ I thought to myself.

Rory McGuire – National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series Round 4 Winner

Cameron Mason isn’t the only Scot, ‘on the up’ in the washing powder-challenging world of cyclo-cross; 19 year-old Perth man, Rory McGuire (Wheelbase-CabTech Castelli) recently took round four of the National Trophy Cyclo-cross Series near Sunderland.

Katie Archibald – European Individual and Team Pursuit Champion 2014

Katie Archibald has been at it again; winning major championships. This time it’s the European Individual and Team Pursuit Championships in... Guadaloupe? Those French...

Memories of Jason MacIntyre

It's a year since Jason MacIntyre died; just like I can remember where I was when JFK was shot, I can remember receiving the call from James McCallum as I drove through Cramond. Jason was a special rider, I loved to watch him in a time trial; to me he was poetry in motion.

Niels Fredborg – Danish Track Legend

With the Copenhagen six day about to start we thought we’d best have a word with one of Denmark’s track legends; former World and Olympic kilometre champion, Niels Fredborg. A man who was knocking out 1:4 kilometres some 40 years ago...

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 8: Belfort – Porrentruy, 154 km

Call me a sentimental old fool, but Thibaut Pinot’s win in stage 8 was what the Tour is all about – the youngest man in the race gallantly holding off the rampaging favourites; Marc Madiot in the FDJ team car overcome with emotion; team mates barging in on the TV interview to hug and kiss Pinot, some in tears. Le Tour de France 2012 - Stage 8.