MILAN (VN) — Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, and Miguel Indurain all saw their records fall, and Bradley Wiggins will too. Who will be next to break the UCI Hour Record?
After Wiggins’ record-setting ride Sunday in London, the record stands at 54.526 kilometers.
Unlike the last six months, cycling’s governing body, the UCI, is now looking at a blank planner. No one has raised his hand to attempt the hour record, which is as old as the sport itself.
Wiggins furthered the 52.937km mark that Brit Alex Dowsett reached in May by 1,589 meters. A kilometer and a half, or about one mile, may seem small, but that was the biggest step forward since the endurance event began.
Frenchman Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour de France, went 35.325km in one hour in 1893. Fellow Frenchman Jules Dubois topped it by 2.895km one year later and essentially began the competition.
The step to reach Wiggins’ 54.526 mark may be big, but soon someone will ring the UCI’s headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, and schedule an attempt to try to make it. One of them could come from this list:
Alex Dowsett (Movistar)
The 26-year-old told BBC Sport, “I could have gone faster.” The 2014 Commonwealth Games time trial champion explained he would like to re-attempt the record, “whether that be next year or in eight years’ time.”
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)
The Swiss, 34, holds several cobbled classic titles and four time trial world championship titles. He created the new buzz around the record in 2013, but then the rules changed and so did his mind. Trek general manager and coach, Luca Guercilena, told La Gazzetta dello Sport the hour is no longer in their plans. As Cancellara heads toward retirement and is searching for new goals, his plans could change.
Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step)
The 30-year-old German has the time trial skills to match Wiggins, but not the track background. Martin said he wanted to find time to work on the track and attempt the record in 2015, but that idea could be postponed until 2017 with other goals on the immediate horizon: wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour, winning a fourth world time trial title, and preparing for the 2016 Olympics time trial.
Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing)
The American showed interest in going for the hour record, but since breaking his leg last year, his recovery has come first. If he was to make a return to competition, he could target the hour given his track background that includes two individual pursuit world titles.
Geraint Thomas (Sky)
The Welshman helped Great Britain win two Olympic gold medals in the team pursuit. In 2012, he was part of the team that pipped Australia with Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis, two hour record riders. Thomas is now racing on the road full-time, this year winning the Volta ao Algarve and E3 Harelbeke, but he could tweak his schedule to fit in the hour record in the coming seasons.
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)
The 24-year-old Dutchman, third in the 2014 worlds time trial behind Wiggins and Martin, told local media this spring he is not interested in the hour record: “I’m working on more important goals, such as the prologue of the Tour de France. Next year, I will focus on the Olympics.” Like Martin, however, if he improves his track skills, he has the motor to match Wiggins.
Adriano Malori (Movistar)
Guercilena said the 27-year-old Italian could attempt the record in two or three years. Malori, after winning the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial in March, said, “maybe I’ll try it in a couple of years.”
Stefan Küng (BMC Racing)
The Swiss rider, only 21 years old, beat Bobridge to win the individual pursuit world title this year in Paris. In the Tour de Romandie, he motored away for a solo stage win. He is currently recovering from a fractured vertebra suffered in the Giro d’Italia, but upon recovery, he looks to have the skills, the engine, and a team to support him for an hour record attempt.