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Campenaerts plans to challenge Wiggins’s hour record

The top Belgian time trial rider aims to ride farther than 54.526km in an hour this April. Campenaerts also dreams of world and Olympic TT titles.

PARIS (AFP) — Victor Campenaerts will attack Bradley Wiggins’s world hour record on April 16 or 17 at altitude in Aguascalientes in Mexico, his Lotto-Soudal team said on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Belgian is the European time trial champion and finished in third place in the event at the last world championships in Innsbruck, Austria.

British track specialist and 2012 Tour de France winner Wiggins rode 54.526km in 60 minutes when he set the record in London on June 7, 2015.

After tests at the Swiss velodrome in Granges, Campenaerts has been training at altitude in Namibia this winter with an eye on the world record.

He plans to ride the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in March and arrive in Mexico three weeks before his attempt.

“I have made good progress in recent years and I am paying attention to all the details, so I hope I have a chance of bettering the record,” Campenaerts said.

“This record, the individual world time trial title, and the Olympic gold are the three dreams that I want to pursue in the next few years.

“I do not think of being a better athlete” than Wiggins, he said.

“The record of the hour is a unique challenge in cycling and breaking it would be a way for me to write a little bit of the history,” he said.

“In our sport, the important thing is to win. Breaking world records is not as important as in other disciplines,” he added.

The Bicentenario velodrome in Aguascalientes has repeatedly hosted track record attempts by athletes attracted to its reputation and 1,800-meter (5,900 feet) altitude.

In December 2013, Frenchman Francois Pervis broke the world records time for the 200m and the 1km and a German trio broke the team sprint record. Last August, American Ashton Lambie broke the record for the 4km pursuit.

Last September, Vittoria Bussi, a previously unknown Italian, set the women’s hour record, covering 48.007km.

Dane Martin Toft Madsen then fell just short of the Wiggins record when he rode 53.630km in an hour.