BY CHIP DAVIS
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One of cycling’s most mythical feats—the UCI Hour Record—was smashed October 8 on a velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland, by professional cyclist Filippo Ganna of Italy—and he did it on a pair of wheels made by oarsmen.
Princeton CarbonWorks, which was founded by triathlete, rower, and Princeton head lightweight coach Marty Crotty, is a pioneering startup “hell-bent on creating the most groundbreaking wheels imaginable.” Mechanical engineer Brad Werntz, also a Princeton oarsman, and Boston University rower Harrison Macris co-founded the company, which includes rower Richard Furchtgott and has achieved success among top triathletes and the professional cycling team INEOS.
The hour record, which is certified by UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), is cycling’s holy grail, and some of the greatest riders of all time, such as Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain, have set it, cycling alone on a track from a standing start as far as possible in 60 minutes. In so doing, they have attached their names to the most prestigious individual record in the sport. It’s sort of cycling’s equivalent of a 2,000-meter erg test.
“I’ll never do it again,” Ganna told CyclingNews after adding more than 400 meters to the record and setting the new standard of 56.792 kilometers on his rower-made carbon-fiber wheels.
Said Crotty: “Princeton CarbonWorks, its collaborators, supporters, customers, and partners is just another example of just how much rowers can get done when they put their mind to it.”