Australia’s Jack Bobridge has broken Chris Boardman’s 4000m individual pursuit world record (4:11.114), setting a time of 4:10.534 today on Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome at the nation’s elite track championships.
Bobridge had previously held the fastest ‘non-superman’ individual pursuit time – set during last year’s Australian National Track Championships – but after stopping the clock under 4:11 this afternoon he now holds the fastest mark ever.
Boardman’s time was set in 1996 using the now-banned ‘superman’ position at the Manchester velodrome and Bobridge’s time of 4.14.427 set at the 2010 Australian track titles was considered the closest any rider would come to breaking the Englishman’s record.
But after 15 years of trying, a rider has broken the barrier previously thought untouchable.
Bobridge, so shocked at the result had to check the time several times before his achievement started to sink in.
“To come around and see that on the board, I was honestly quite shocked,” he said. “I thought the clock had stopped a lap early, so I had to look at it a few times, but then I saw everyone going crazy, and then it started to get a little overwhelming.”
Chris boardman (on his way to setting the hour record in 1996) used an extreme position – now outlawed by the uci – to reduce drag: AFP/Getty Images
Chris Boardman en route to breaking the hour record in the superman position in 1996
After learning the news that his record had fallen, Boardman tweeted: “Wow Jack Bobridge broke my 15yr old world record, 4:10.5 that is an amazing time, congratulations to him.”
Before his record breaking ride, Bobridge was forced to watch as fellow South Australian Rohan Dennis posted the second fastest time in history with 4mins 13.399seconds during his heat.
Dennis’ time broke the Australian, Australian Championship and the All Comers record for fastest time on Australian soil, set by Bobridge in his gold medal ride in the pursuit final at the 2010 National Championships in Adelaide.
“Today, when Rohan came out before me and pulled a 4.13, I was sitting in my seat and I was definitely scared,” said Bobridge, adding “But I am quite a competitive bike rider and obviously I didn’t want all my records to be taken.”
It’s already been a productive summer for Bobridge, having been crowned Australian elite men’s road race champion and finished runner up in the time trial at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, before contesting the Tour Down Under in South Australia with his professional team Garmin-Cervelo.
“I had no idea that I was going to ride that today as I haven’t really been on the track since Oceania’s last November, and have been training hard on the road, so to come here and ride that it is a massive surprise,” said Bobridge.
“This morning I decided to come down a gear because it is quite humid in here and obviously it was the right decision, it was perfect gearing.
“Then after the first few laps, once I got my breathing right, I knew I was on.
“I really controlled that third kilometre and tried to stay comfortable and then really let everything out over the last four laps.”
The final is still ahead for Bobridge this evening who will face off with Dennis in the gold medal ride. West Australia’s Luke Durbridge (4mins21.681secs ) to face Michael Hepburn (4mins18.852seconds) for bronze.
For full coverage of the Australian track nationals, visit Cyclingnews.com.