At its core, competitive cycling is about three key metrics: distance, time, and speed. It just so happens that in 2016, three cyclists broke world records in three very different disciplines. Here are the stories behind cycling’s new record-holders.
Few, if any, sports records last 76 years, but the Highest Annual Mileage Record (known as HAMR in endurance cycling circles) lasted that long — until January 2016. Riding a short loop around a park near Tampa Florida, Kurt Searvogel, 53, broke Tommy Godwin’s 1939 record of 75,065 miles ridden in one year on a bicycle.
Everything echoes inside this pressurized dome. The click of Evelyn Stevens’s pedals, dialed to their tightest setting; the whir of her tires and hum of her disc wheels against imperfect concrete banking; the encouragements of her coach, Neal Henderson, as she passes him with each revolution. The laps echo off each other, too. Ovals lay upon ovals. But where echoes fade, Stevens cannot. She set off across the 7-Eleven Velodrome’s imperfect concrete on Saturday and the amplitude of cheers and pain rose, louder and louder, higher and higher, until a crescendo at 60 minutes, when the world received its new hour record holder.
Sitting just inches behind a modified Land Rover SVR, Denise Mueller of San Diego, California, set a new women’s bicycle land speed record at 147 miles per hour on a Saturday in September.