Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Amazing Jens Voigt

I am astounded.  It is truly amazing what a person can push themselves to achieve.  Jens Voigt today set the UCI one hour record by traveling 51.115 km on his bike in a one hour span. That is almost 32 miles in an hour.  He did it all alone on a track in a velodrome.  No drafting, no one to help him.  It was all Jens. I watched the coverage via VeloNews' feed. The also wrote up an article about the effort here.

Jens is famous for saying "Shut Up Legs," when racing. That is obviously what he was telling himself as the minutes counted down towards the one hour mark and he was actually increasing his speed near the end of the ride.  His early laps were just under 18 seconds and towards the end he completed several laps in under seventeen seconds.

Watching him reminded me of the movie 'The Flying Scotsman' which follows the career of Scotsman Graeme Obree.  in the film it documents his unique accomplishments breaking the one hour record through innovation with a very unique riding style for the time. His breaking of the record created a bit of controversy and was eventually disqualified but the UCI only to be later reinstated.

What is amazing is how hard and long they are able to ride at their almost absolute threshold. Towards the end of the run, VeloNews was talking with one of the Trek team technicians who was detailing the statistics they were receiving from Jens in real time.  Everything from cadence to power to heart rate was instantly available to the team throughout the entire ride.  With 10 minutes to go in the hour Jens' heart rate was 170 BPM and according to the team he can go significantly higher.

My hat is off to you, Jens for your amazing accomplishment as you retire from professional cycling at the age of 43.

Get On You Bikes and Ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!