Wiggins welcomes hour record competition

Wiggins welcomes hour record competition

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Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins hopes that competition for the hour record will continue after he attempts to raise the mark to over 55 kilometres in London’s Lee Valley VeloPark on Sunday 7 June.

The 2014 world time trial champion has said he hopes to eclipse Dowsett’s current record of 52.937 kilometres and challenge Chris Boardman’s now defunct ‘best human effort’ record of 55.375 kilometres, if conditions are favourable.

But beyond his own ambition, Wiggins wants the current buzz around the iconic event to continue, irrespective of whether he dethrones Dowsett, hoping that subsequent athletes will continue to “add more kudos” to the event.

"Whatever I do on Sunday I hope someone goes for the record again, even if they fail,” said Wiggins.

"If no one attacks them because they're frightened of failing then the record will sit there dormant,” he continued.

"That's what sport's all about.”

Current interest in the record was renewed in 2014 when the UCI, world cycling’s governing body, changed the rules on the test, which allows riders to use a modern track pursuit bike.

German cycling icon Jens Voigt was first to set the new ‘unified’ record, posting 51.110 kilometres in September 2014, before Matthias Brandle of Switzerland toppled Voigt with a 51.852 kilometre ride on 30 October.

The record stood until Australia’s Rohan Dennis raised it to 52.491 kilometres on 8 February 2015, a mark that lasted until 2 May when Dowsett became the first Briton to hold the mark since Chris Boardman, who held the ‘athletes’ record from 2000 to 2006, when rules dictated that riders use a traditional drop handlebar track bike with standard spoked wheels and no aerodynamic aids.

The 2012 Tour de France champion is a keen historian of cycling and hopes to join the very exclusive club of athletes who have both held the hour record and won the Tour, most notable the incomparable Eddy Merckx, who won five Tours de France and held the hour record from 1972 to 1984.

"Partly why I'm doing it is to put your name up there with those people who have done it before,” said the 35-year-old from Kilburn.

"It's an incredibly historic record.

"To put your name up there, it puts you into a bracket of those who have done it and also won the Tour de France as well, which is quite a special club."

However, conditions will play a huge part in deciding whether Wiggins will be able to eclipse Chris Boardman’s lofty 1996 effort, set in Manchester on a highly specialised bike and position, now banned under UCI regulations.

"The only thing that really affects how fast you can go is the air pressure,” said Wiggins, who is confident of his form and ability to execute the effort under immense pressure.

"It looks like it's going to be high, and that could make a kilometre difference.

"That could be the difference between chasing Chris' record.

"It's doable but a lot will tell in the next few days."

How to watch Sir Bradley Wiggins’ hour record attempt