Commonwealth Games time trial champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) will attempt to break the hour record in February next year.
The 26-year-old confirmed his attempt today, which will take place on Friday February 27 at Revolution round five in London – where Dame Sarah Storey will bid to beat the women’s record the following day.
Dowsett, a three-time former British time trial champion, was widely touted to attempt the hour record and looks set to be the first British man to take on the hour since the UCI revamped the rules in May.
And he revealed his inspiration has come from travelling around Europe with ‘Miles for Haemophilia’, with his desire to give hope to fellow haemophiliacs as to what can be achieved.
“The Hour is something I’ve always been interested in; the simplicity of it, mostly: no tactics, no hiding, just you and the bike,” he said.
“Now I’ve got a new sense of drive as I know that the more success I can achieve, the more hope it will give everyone in the whole rare disease community.
“We spend our childhoods being told what we can’t do, so I’m going for the record for anyone that gets told what they can’t do something and goes out to prove themselves otherwise. I’m training a hell of a lot harder because of it.”
If successful, the Essex rider would become the first Brit to break the record since Chris Boardman in 2000.
Since the rules for the attempt have been simplified by the UCI, both Jens Voigt and Matthias Brandle – who currently holds the 51.852km mark – have successfully taken on the hour record.
Shortly before setting the record, Brandle actually rode with Dowsett in a successful three-man break on stage six of the Tour of Britain, which saw the Brit pull on the leader’s jersey.
Australian duo Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis have also confirmed attempts for early in the New Year and it is likely Dowsett will be targeting Dennis’ mark – if the BMC Racing man is successful – with just 20 days between their scheduled attempts.
Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzue said: “The marks that two track riders, big time triallists, like Bobridge and Rohan Dennis will set will make it really difficult for us, but I hope this will become a further drive for Alex to tackle it.
“Alex’s attempt reflects the globalisation of cycling and the internationalisation of our team.
“Taking the chance with a British rider, at the Olympic velodrome in London, and adding that social drive, with Alex taking such efforts to support those ones with rare diseases, himself being an ambassador of Haemophilia – I already find this attempt perfect and positive for everyone, all circumstances put together.”
The record attempt will be part of an evening of racing at Revolution, billed the ‘Perfect Hour’, with the day’s events taking on a different format to the normal series.
The former Team Sky man will ride a modification of Canyon’s TT rig for the attempt, which is likely to be followed by compatriot and world time trial champion Sir Bradley Wiggins later in the year.
Dowsett’s announcement is also another boost to UCI president Brian Cookson, who has repeatedly reiterated his hopes that the new regulations – whereby any legitimate track endurance bike can be used for the attempt – will reignite interest in the hour record.
He said: “After Brändle’s new record, I said that I was convinced that many other riders would try to add their names to the prestigious list of legendary UCI Hour Record holders, and Alex did not wait long to announce his attempt.
“It will take place at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome, the venue of the 2012 Olympic Games, which will add to the excitement of the event.
“Dowsett’s attempt gives credit to the amendment of the regulations we introduced several months ago. The recent changes have sparked an exciting series of challenges, which is exactly what we hoped would happen when we decided to authorise the use of track bikes with modern designs and technology.
“The UCI Hour Record has been revived and is capturing the imaginations of riders and fans alike.”
Should Dowsett and Storey both be successful, it will be the first time two Brits have held the men and women’s records in unison since Boardman and Yvonne McGregor held the now reclassified ‘best human effort’ records in autumn 1996.
To buy tickets for the weekend visit www.cyclingrevolution.com.