Double Tour of Britain stage winner Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) will attempt to break Jens Voigt’s hour record next week.
The Austrian time trial champion, 24, will attempt the record at Switzerland’s World Cycling Centre in Agile just six weeks after Voigt ended his career by setting a new mark of 51.110km.
Brändle ended his season in great form, twice winning from day-long breaks at the Tour of Britain and earning plaudits for his performance on stage six, in particular, when he, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Tom Stewart (Madison-Genesis) stunned the peloton.
And Brändle admits he has taken inspiration from Voigt in the way he rides, hence his attempt at breaking the German’s record.
“I am 100% focused on this project, which is very close to my heart,” he said. “I have decided to try my luck because I have been impressed by Jens Voigt since I was a young child.
“His personality and style have made a mark on me. To attack over and over again, in all conditions, and fight to exhaustion knowing that the chance of winning is small has also become my trademark.
“After he made his successful assault on the Hour, I thought he had fulfilled his dream, and within just a few weeks I surprised myself by starting to have the same dream.”
Brandle admits he was disappointed with his performance at the world time trial championships, where he finished 35th, but hopes the hour record will give him an opportunity to bounce back.
“Just imagine if I have what it takes to fight against the clock and the metres,” he added. “In spite of what happened at the Worlds in Ponferrada, I stayed calm.
“It even encouraged me to try my luck. As of today I do not know whether I can beat the mark or not.
“But as usual, it will be a very personal struggle between me and the clock. And just for that, I am really looking forward to the big day.”
UCI president Brian Cookson, meanwhile, is delighted to see interest in the hour record sparked, with cycling’s governing body having amended the rules earlier this year.
Where the challenge previously required a rider to attempt the record on a set bike, any machine deemed legal for the UCI’s track endurance events is now valid.
Cookson said: “I am delighted that a young rider is interested in attacking the Hour Record just weeks after Jens Voigt’s stunning performance.
“This proves that the Hour Record has again become a dream for athletes, including those of the new generation, as well as for cycling fans.
“I am convinced that in the future many other riders will attempt to add their names to the prestigious list of legendary Hour Record holders.
“Following Jens Voigt, Matthias Brändle is the second rider to attempt to beat the record time following the amendment of the regulations several months ago.
“This is exactly what we hoped would happen when we decided to authorize the use of track bikes with modern designs and technology.”