After breaking an 11-year drought with a world title in the women’s three-kilometer individual pursuit in April, Sara Hammer (Ouch Pro Cycling) eclipsed another 11-year-old mark Wednesday, setting a new national record inthe same event during the opening session of the USA Cycling EliteTrack National Championships at the ADT Event Center. In the ensuingfinals Wednesday evening, Hammer added another national title to herrésumé, catching silver medalist Katie Compton (Spike) six laps into the 12 lap race.
Hammer clocked a time of 3:32.865 seconds to smash the previous national record of 3:36.08 set by Rebecca Twigg in Bogota,Colombia in 1995. When Hammer won the world championship in Bordeaux,France six months ago, it was the first time in eleven years anAmerican captured an elite women’s world title on the track, also last accomplished by Twigg in 1995.
Hammer’s qualifying time shaved over four seconds off her personalbest of 3:37.194 – a mark she set in the qualifying round of thisyear’s world championships. In addition to a new personal best and anew national record, Hammer also surpassed the ADT Event Center trackrecord – a mark she already owned after clocking a 3:37.799 at the UCIWorld Cup in January.
“I had hoped to break the national record,” explained Hammer of herpre-race strategy. “That was the goal. Obviously being worldchampion I wanted that record, but I didn’t want to think about it toomuch because it’s only October and training has just started. Mytimes in training have been consistent with what would be on pace todo that, but I didn’t think I’d be riding a 3:32, that’s for sure. Iwas thinking maybe a 3:35.”
Hammer’s accomplishments bookend an impressive year for American womenin endurance cycling events. After Hammer notched a worldchampionship in April, Kristin Armstrong (Team Lipton)and Christine Thorburn (Webcor-Platinum) rode togold and bronze respectively in the time trial at the UCI Road WorldChampionships in September.