Madden (50) comes agonisingly close to Irish elite hour record

Posted on: October 4th, 2015

John Madden on his way to setting a new Masters hour record and coming very, very close to getting the 16-year-old elite record of Tommy Evans (Photo with thanks to James Brown)


Irish rider John Madden has set a new national Masters’ record for the hour on the Manchester velodrome and has come very close to breaking the elite record.

Veteran Madden stopped the clock at 45.7km, completing 183 laps of the track in England where the World Masters Track Championships were taking place.

Madden, a former international triathlete turned record-breaking time trial rider, has thrown down a gauntlet to others as his new Masters record is the first time any Irish rider has set such a record for the over 40s.

And with that section of racing booming in Ireland, his ride on Sunday morning will hopefully get others thinking about going even further.

However, while Madden’s performance was a formidable one for a rider of any age, the quality of his hour is really underlined when one considers he is just a couple of weeks short of his 51st birthday.

Despite having turned 50 years last October, he is an athlete who has shown no signs of slowing down.

And he went into his effort today with the Irish elite hour record firmly and realistically in his sights.

Former international rider and Rás winner Tommy Evans holds the national record for the hour. He set a marker of 46.166km back in 1999.

Madden came to within 466 metres of claiming the record set by Evans, who was in his 20s back in 1999 and had won the Rás three years earlier.

While Madden’s efforts may now spark a new found interest in the hour record, his palmares to date suggest his time will be very hard to beat, especially by others chasing the new Masters’ record.

In 2012 he took six minutes off the then elite national 100 mile TT record with a time of 3:45:05.

He has been Ulster 100 mile champion and until last year he also held the 50 and 100 mile elite records, despite being a latecomer to cycling.

He was on the Irish triathlon team through the 1990s and was Ulster and national champion several times.

He also won a bronze medal at the world triathlon championships in Muskoka, Canada in 1992.

He is the current Irish record holder for veterans at all of the main TT distances. His 10 mile record stands at 19mins 17secs while his 25 mile vets’ marker is 49:41.

His Irish vets’ record of the 50 mile event is 1:45:19 and for the 100 mile test is 3:37:36.

He took the silver medal in the Masters 50 race at the National Road Championships in Omagh in June.

And last year he also broke the Derry-Belfast record that stood for 50 years since being set by legendary Morris Foster MBE back in 1964.

He clocked a time of 2hrs 37mins and 33secs; an average of 27.4mph for the 72 mile course.

A school principal at Roddensvale School in Larne, Co Antrim, he is hoping to raise much needed funds for the school by tackling the hour.

The school caters for pupils aged 3 to 19 years who all have severe learning difficulties. Some of the pupils have complex medical needs plus profound and multiple learning difficulties.

You can find details about how to donate to Madden’s fundraising drive by following this link.