German cyclist Jens Voigt rode into retirement by breaking the sport’s revered hour record Thursday.
The three-time Olympian and 17-time Tour de France starter covered 31.7 miles in 60 minutes, lapping a velodrome track in Grenchen, Switzerland.
Voigt, who turned 43 on Wednesday, ended his career by beating the previous record of 30.8 miles set by Czech Ondrej Sosenka in 2005.
“Fifty-one kilometres in a hour, it’s a lot more than I had imagined,” Voigt said, according to Agence France-Presse. “I gave it everything in the last 20 minutes. I knew that I still had the energy, that I was ahead of the mark. I felt euphoric — it was the last 20 minutes of my sporting career.
“I was super-motivated. Now I am on the list of all the famous names, I am so proud to join the likes of [Eddy] Merckx, [Miguel] Indurain. It’s fantastic to finish like this.”
Voigt’s ride technically isn’t the longest distance ever covered in an hour, but it is the record because the International Cycling Union changed its rules pertaining to the mark with regards to equipment several years ago.
Great Britain’s Chris Boardman, a 1992 Olympic track cycling champion, covered 35 miles in an hour in 1996, before the UCI changes.