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Alex Dowsett breaks UCI hour record

Alex Dowsett breaks UCI hour record

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Britain’s Alex Dowsett recorded 52.937 kilometres to set a new UCI hour record at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Saturday.

The Movistar rider raised the roof at the home of British Cycling, beating the previous record of 52.491 set by Australian Rohan Dennis in Grenchen, Switzerland on 8 February.

The attempt was delayed from the scheduled date of 27 February after Dowsett broke his collarbone on a training ride in January.

Tagged on social media as the #PerfectHour, Dowsett’s effort lived up its billing, the 26-year-old from Essex producing a measured effort that just got quicker as the time ticked away.

As the hour elapsed, Dowsett was 446 metres up on Dennis’ mark, becoming the first British rider to take the record since Chris Boardman held it from 2000 to 2005.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Dowsett said, “I was expecting horrific and it was just terrible. I’m not going to lie, the first 30 minutes was easy. Easy compared to what I expected.

“I knew it was going to be easy early on, but I wasn’t expecting that. I had to stay disciplined because the last 10 minutes was a bit grippy.”

Interest in the event was rekindled in 2014 when the UCI changed the rules to allow riders to attempt the record on standard endurance track bikes, with Jens Voigt of Germany the first to set a mark of 51.110 kilometres in September.

The record stood until 30 October, when Austria’s Matthias Brändle raised the bar to 51.852 kilometres at the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.

Brandle’s record stood until Dennis pushed the mark above 52 kilometres.

Three men have failed in the attempt, Jack Bobridge in January, Thomas Dekker in February and Gustav Larsson in March.

Sir Bradley Wiggins is set to make his attempt on 7 June at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark Velodrome.