New military cycling world Hour record "excruciating" says engineer

Record breaker Justyn Cannon said he was “praying for a puncture or my chain to snap just so it could be over.”

by Elliot Johnston   February 6, 2014  

Justyn Cannon winning the AW 10 Time Trial in April 2013 (image CC licensed from Flickr user Biker Jun)

Welshman Justyn Cannon has set a new military cycling world Hour record with a 47.220km effort which he described as “horrible”.

The previous military record for the discipline, in which cyclists aim to ride as far as possible within a 60-minute time limit, stood at 46.595km and was set by Paul Dotchin in 2000.

Cannon beat Dotchin’s record by 0.625km, but speaking to the BBC, he spoke more about the physical sacrifice he’d made for the record attempt rather than the success of the ride itself.

"Lap number one is horrible, as you're stressed about getting on schedule. Then each lap after that is horrible," Cannon said.

"The last ten minutes are excruciating. I was praying for a puncture or my chain to snap just so it could be over.”

Cannon, an engineer in the RAF, first broke onto the cycling scene in 1991 where he represented Wales in the Nations Cup Cyclocross Championships. He followed this with a 16-year hiatus, before undertaking a five-year training regime to get back to race-weight and fitness.

In 2011 he became the Combined Services Best All Rounder, and in the last 12 months has shown success in the domestic time trialing scene.

When asked to describe how he was feeling after breaking the military world Hour record, Cannon said:

"My hips are wrecked [and] my glutes are shot.”

The Welshman waited until the day of the record attempt to ride his bike on the track for the first time, perhaps tempting a mechanical failure. But, his physical preparation was far more meticulous than his laissez-faire attitude toward the technicalities.

"My girlfriend wrote my schedule last night. I just rocked up and winged it," Cannon said.

"I've been a proper grouch for the last month because of how hard the training is.

"I train three times a day, including doing two hours on Christmas Day.

"I get home from work and have my indoor trainer set up in the front room so I can jump straight on it without being distracted by food or the internet. Then I eat at 8:30pm and I'm in bed by 9pm."

Cannon put the brakes on questions of the possibility of another attempt in the foreseeable future, by saying:

"Never again. Well, not for a few weeks."

Cannon's reluctance to celebrate his record breaking success was contrasted earlier last week by another Hour record breaker, who set out to break a record which he originally set to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Robert Marchand, a 102-year old Frenchman, broke his own age-group record just last week riding 26.925km.

12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Haha, ace story, good lad! Big Grin

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~
Manx nerd peddler ~

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
6th February 2014 - 13:01


I need to start making more sacrifices.

Well done. Applause

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [242 posts]
6th February 2014 - 13:48


Good to see the light blue setting the record (said an ex-member of the light blue!)

posted by NickK123 [94 posts]
6th February 2014 - 14:17


Great job, well done indeed!

posted by peted76 [92 posts]
6th February 2014 - 14:19


Is this a 'funky aero bike' event like the old school hour, or 'normal bike' job? Either way v impressive!!

posted by andyp [1371 posts]
6th February 2014 - 14:41


Well done to the guy, looks like it was a full aero record, solid rear wheel and aero bars.

posted by Charles_Hunter [123 posts]
6th February 2014 - 15:08


cool to see a renewed in the hour record. I have never heard much about it since I've followed cycling. Pretty cool

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
6th February 2014 - 15:17


Is this an indoor record?

posted by offshore_dave [63 posts]
6th February 2014 - 16:45


Congrats to a great feat. Is it me or does he seem rather Eeyore about it? Oh well, I guess I can make the sacrifice and drink a pint for him Kiss

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

movingtarget's picture

posted by movingtarget [143 posts]
6th February 2014 - 17:41


Congrats on the new record time, but what a drama queen.

Shut up legs, you don't get a vote.

ridein's picture

posted by ridein [71 posts]
6th February 2014 - 17:49


I take my hat off to Justyn Cannon or anyone who sets any kind of record. Chappeau!

"Never again. Well, not for a few weeks."

An excellent quote, Sir.

posted by Sir Wobbly [15 posts]
6th February 2014 - 20:05


rather Eeyore about it?

That's our JC I'm afraid.

mooseman's picture

posted by mooseman [85 posts]
6th February 2014 - 21:40