Commonwealth Games gold medallist and three-time British time-trial champion Alex Dowsett is to attempt to break the world hour record on Friday 27 February as part of Revolution round five in London’s Lee Valley VeloPark.
The 26-year-old Movistar pro will attempt to usurp current record holder, Matthias Brandle, who set a mark of 51.852-kilometres at the UCI’s 200-metre Aigle velodrome, Switzerland on 30 October 2014.
The new unified UCI hour record was set by Jens Voigt on 18 September at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen before Brandle raised the bar just 46 days later.
Interest in the hour record was rekindled following the UCI’s decision to unify the regulations for the event, which in the past had ‘athlete’ and ‘absolute’ records; the former performed on traditional round-tubed track bikes without aerodynamic aids, while the latter allowed aero aids such as helmets, disc wheels and aerodynamic monocoque frames.
The rules introduced by the UCI in 2014 allowed riders to attempt the record on bikes which comply with current track pursuit regulations.
Dowsett is motivated to set a new record and in doing so raise awareness for the Miles for Haemophilia campaign, a condition which the Maldon-born rider has had since birth.
"Things like the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics, the Tour de France and world championships hit home with the general public, but I truly had my eyes opened during my offseason this year when I travelled around Europe with the Miles for Haemophilia campaign," said Dowsett.
“As a young haemophiliac things were tough, even more so for my family than I,” he continued. “There was only a predicted gloomy outcome, talk of wheelchairs, crutches, joints fused in place or replaced, a far cry from the Alex you see before now.”
UCI president Brian Cookson welcomed Dowsett’s attempt, which will take place a day before Dame Sarah Storey attempts to set a new benchmark for the women’s hour.
“I am delighted that an experienced time triallist such as Alex Dowsett is attacking the UCI Hour Record just months after Matthias Brändle’s tremendous performance on the UCI World Cycling Centre velodrome, in Switzerland,” said Cookson.
“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.”