Metromint Cycling Team's Molly Van Houweling is an under-recognized rider putting up some amazing performances across multiple disciplines, particularly in non-drafting timed events. The California native is sometimes known as the 'Queen of the Clock.' On Saturday, July 3, Van Houweling extended her own US and Pan American Elite hour records and her UCI Masters 40-44 World Record with a ride of 46.088km at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico. In triathlon speak, that's like completing an Olympic Distance 40k bike leg in a staggering 52 minutes.
These records now exceed the UCI Hour Record of 46.065km set by Leontin Van Moorsel in Mexico City in 2003. But Van Houweling is not done with her hour record quest. As she explained to TriRig.com, "my July record is not a new UCI Hour Record because I had been only been enrolled in the UCI's biological passport program since March. They require 5-10 months of testing before declaring my passport valid. But I'm pretty excited to know that the record distance is possible. I'm grateful for the set of sponsors who came on board to help with my July attempt and I hope I can succeed in one more when the time is right."
It appears that the time might be right very soon. As just announced by the UCI, Van Houweling will make another Hour Record attempt on September 12 back in Aguascalientes. This one will be an official attempt on the UCI Hour Record. If she can match or better her previous attempts, she'll earn the record.
Van Houweling chalks up her successful string of hour record attempts (starting with her first U.S. elite record in December, 2014) to putting together lots of little pieces-including training, nutrition, equipment selection, and altitude and heat acclimatization. "I like to train and cook healthy food. My husband Rob likes to geek out about aerodynamics, rolling resistance, etc. So together we're a pretty good team-with a lot of additional expertise behind us. My coach Dave Jordaan designs my training. Nutritionist Anne Guzman helps with the fuel. Stacy Sims and OSMO Nutrition are my experts on heat and hydration."
As for equipment, Van Houweling has been a long time user of Dash saddles and has a custom Stage.9 saddle/post combo on her Cervelo T4. "My local bike shop Beyond Aero has provided generous financial and technical support from the start," she reports. Jason Smith, the founder of Friction Facts, has also pitched in with his expertise from day one." More help for her most recent attempt has come from USE, who makes her slippery TULA aerobars; CeramicSpeed, who has provided speedy bearings and an UltraFast chain; and Atomic SS, whose coatings reduce her drivetrain drag to a minimum. Every element makes a different, Van Houweling says. "When going for world records, every meter counts!"
Cervelo T4, 54cm
Dash Stage.9 saddle combo
USE Tula Aerobars, HED extensions
Mavic Comete Discs w/ Ceramicspeed
Vittoria Pista EVO tires
Rotor SRM Track, 56t
Dura-Ace 14t Cog w/Atomic SS
Dura-Ace 9000 Chain w/Ultrafast
Speedplay Zero Pedals w/Atomic SS
Pearl Izumi Mach 5 Speedsuit
Giro Empire Shoes
Specialized S-Works TT Helmet
Check out the gallery below for shots of Van Houweling's fastidiously-clean Cervelo T4. Our thanks to Team Van Houweling for the information and quotes. Photos courtesy Instituto del Deporte del Estado de Aguascalientes and Richard Allen.