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Bridie O'Donnell Scorches to a New World Record

Bridie O'Donnell setting a new hour record in Adelaide's Superdome
Bridie O'Donnell well on her way to setting a new hour record.

In front of a huge crowd at Adelaide's Super-Drome, one of the wonderwomen of Australian cycling, Bridie O'Donnell - multiple world championship representative, former National champion, former Oceania road race champion road, medical doctor, TV presenter, team manager - added another achievement to her incredible list of palmarès by smashing the World Hour Record.

O'Donnell covered 46.882km in cycling's toughest test (see 'Sixty minutes of pain and glory' article) to take the record from American Molly Van Houweling, who set a new mark in September 2015 when she covered 46.273km in Aquascalientes, Mexico.

For the first 40 minutes of the ride she was perfectly on target, with a projected finishing distance of 46.80km, but then ramped up the pace slightly to have a projected distance of 47.05km after 44 minutes. She then dug in, gutsing out the final quarter hour to bring home the new world mark.

"It was all about planning, preparation, logistics and training", an emotional O'Donnell explained after her victory lap.

"My team and I, we knew I was physically capable of setting the new record, but a lot of what happens in this event is dictated by what goes on in your head. It's vital to stay focused, to not let anything - anything- steal your attention away. I stayed mentally strong, the conditions were perfect and the support from the crowd was amazing."

O'Donnell's bike gets the OK from UCI officials. Weighs a regulation 7.68kg.
O'Donnell's bike, a regulation 7.68kg, gets the OK from UCI officials

The conditions were indeed favorable, if extremely warm. The temperature when the starter's pistol fired was 32 degrees celcius (90° F) - warm enough that O'Donnell completed her entire warm-up wearing an ice vest and sipping from a frozen water bottle to keep her core temperature down.

Bridie O'Donnell emotions after world record set
O'Donnell is tired, emotional, and thankful to the crowd after setting the new world record.

Impressively, she was able to dismount unaided, and walked without difficulty to accept the congratulations of her support team and the crowd - this was in stark contrast to Australian Jack Bobridge, who attempted to claim the men's record in 2015. Bobridge had to be lifted off his bike and carried to the edge of the track: O'Donnell had no difficulty in rushing to hug her partner and coach, and to address the waiting media.

"I'm grateful, I'm excited and I've never been happier - what else is there to say?"

Watch the full record attempt video below.



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Benny high res mtbAuthor: Marcus Speed
A former professional athlete, Marcus has a wealth of experience and has been a representative at both State and National level. A certified coach with Cycling Australia, he specializes in strength and endurance conditioning, and takes enormous pride in delivering a program to each athlete that gives them the tools to realise genuine improvement and satisfaction.

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