Track ace Gert Fouche broke the South African hour record, which had stood for 19 years, at Hector Norris Park in Johannesburg yesterday.
An hour challenge entails covering the furthest distance one can in 60 minutes. The rider time-trials solo for the duration.
It is regarded as one of the most prestigious records to hold in cycling.
Fouche covered a distance of 47.02km in an hour, breaking the previous SA record of 45.49km set by James Louter at the same venue in 1999.
Aged 21 at the time, Louter broke the then 23-year-old record of 44.19km set by Dries Oberholzer in Bloemfontein in 1976.
“I’m very happy and also very relieved. I knew it was going to be tough [to attempt],” Fouche told In the Bunch today.
“The hour record in track cycling is something very mystical – you never know how it’s going to be until you actually do it.
“I was looking forward to attempting it, but at the same time I also wasn’t. All you hear about is how painful it is,” he said, after having attempted it for the first time.
The 38-year-old, who lives in Pretoria, said he opted to do it outdoors rather than indoors on a wooden track at the Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town, mainly due to convenience as it was self-funded.
“Having done it on an outdoor track has its negatives, but a positive was that it was at altitude, which makes a bit of a difference.
“With the previous record also set at Hector Norris, I thought it would be a true reflection to achieve it on the same track.
“I will maybe consider doing it on an indoor wooden track in the future just to see what I can achieve.”
Fouche said he had to arrange the record attempt by himself and he extended his gratitude to those who supported him and the officials.
“The willingness of the officials and everyone else at Hector Norris was amazing,” he said.
“Some of them even took off work early to help me out. I want to thank them. Without them it would’ve been impossible.
“I also had a lot of support from my wife, family and coach and for things like this you need all the support you can get.”
Fouche added that if he were to get the opportunity to attempt the hour challenge “on the right track”, he would “really like to try” to break the 50km mark.
On June 7, 2015, Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins set the current world hour record by completing a distance of 54.53km at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.