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British cyclist Alex Dowsett on Wednesday attempted to capture one of cycling’s most prized endurance feats — the hour world record — in Mexico, but came up 534 meters shy, covering 54.555km in his attempt.
The 33-year-old set out to beat the 55.089 kilometers set by Belgian Victor Campenaerts — covered at the same Aguascalientes velodrome, near Mexico City, in April, 2019 — but came up a little more than two laps shy of the mark set some two years ago.
Dowsett had three goals going into the 60-minute effort: Set a new world record; set a new British record; and raise awareness and funds for a charity in which he’s personally invested.
“First was to break the record came up short and just want to take a minute to say another well done to Victor and to Dan Bigham, because that was a British and world record up for grabs today and I was a bit shy,” Dowsett said. “Today was a success because the other two targets were to see how far I could go — and 54.555km is as far as I can go.
“The last symbol today was … the message for young hemophiliacs. Anyone with hemophilia, anyone with a rare condition, anyone who’s facing any kind of adversity, just give it a shot.“
Dowsett sought to regain a record he held briefly in 2015, and at the same time raise awareness of the blood condition hemophilia.
Under the banner “an hour of blood, sweat, and tears,” the Israel Start-Up Nation rider was raising funds for the genetic disorder with which he was born.
“This attempt was to help fund that sports fund those families get their kids into sports activities because it’s such a positive time now for hemophilia, and we have to celebrate and support that as much as we can,” related Dowsett.
“Alex is the only known elite sportsperson that competes in an able-bodied field with hemophilia and wants to show the world that a medical condition doesn’t define you. It drives you,” the official website for his record attempt says.
British cyclists have a close affiliation with the hour record landmark.
Chris Boardman, the British Olympic champion, captured it three times in 1993, 1996, and 2000.
Graeme Obree held it in 1994, as did Dowsett himself on May 2, 2015 in Manchester, only for his mark to be bettered by Bradley Wiggins a month later.
— AFP contributed to this report