May 2, 2015 (Manchester, UK) – Movistar’s Alex Dowsett (Gbr) established a new UCI Hour Record on Saturday of 52.937km at the National Cycling Centre Velodrome in Manchester, setting the bar even higher as he eclipsed the current distance of 52.491km set by Australian Rohan Dennis in February of this year.
Dubbed the #perfecthour, Dowsett, who suffers from haemophilia, a hereditary genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting, hopes to raise awareness for the disease and show that taking risks is worth it to realize your dreams.
“In training we had only done about 35 minutes at most, so we always had this doubt of the unknown in the last 25, but after half an hour I was rolling quite comfortable and was going a lot faster than I expected. I had faith in my coaches, Mark Walker and Mikel Zabala and knew we would find the right rhythm,” said the new world record holder.
Always around 17.1 seconds per lap in the first half of competition he was behind Dennis but picked up the pace to close to 16.5 seconds per lap over the second half, hitting speeds of 52.6 to 52.8 km/h. As the packed stadium cheered him on Dowsett put the hammer down to claim the record raising his bike over his head at the finish.
Dowsett, 26, was originally to make the attempt at the record in February at the London Olympic velodrome but suffered a crash while training and broke his collarbone.
“The crowd was great and this is a day I’ll always remember. I hope this will send a message to all young people with haemophilia. Today was not about victory or failure, just to do something you’ve never done,” he added.
Dowsett is the fifth rider to take on the legendary mark in 2015 after Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis, both of Australia, the Netherlands’ Thomas Dekker and Sweden’s Gustav Larsson.
The change of regulations for the UCI Hour Record introduced in 2014 has triggered a renewal of interest from riders, broadcasters and fans across the world.
Recently Ed Veal set a new Canadian Hour Record of 47.590km at the new Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ontario. Veal, 38, broke the previous record of 45.95 by Mike Nash also set in Manchester but fell short of claiming the Masters 35-39 category world record of 48.315km held by Australia’s Jayson Austin and established in 2009 – read more here.
Attention now turns to fellow British rider Bradley Wiggins who will tackle the UCI Hour Record at the Lee Valley Velopark in London on June 7.
“Alex has done an incredible job,” said UCI President Brian Cookson. “Returning from injury he had to reschedule his attempt and he put up a stellar performance this afternoon. Alex made the UCI Hour Record one of his major goals of the season and his choice paid off. This is a great publicity for our event and for other riders who wish to follow in Alex’s footsteps. Let’s see what Bradley can do now. I would say he’s a safe bet but I’m excited to see what he can do in what is one of the toughest challenges in our sport.”