British rider Alex Dowsett is subjecting himself to an hour of pain for the second time.
Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) will attempt to break the UCI men’s hour record on December 12 at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, Great Britain. It’s Dowsett’s second attempt at the famed record — in May, 2015 he rode and broke the record in Manchester, completing 52.973 kilometers during the 60-minute ride.
Dowsett’s record stood for 36 days until countryman Bradley Wiggins smashed the record, riding 54.526km at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.
In a statement, Dowsett said that after his record-breaking ride in 2015 convinced he could ride further.
“When I took the record in 2015, we rode enough to break the record but I knew I had more in the tank at the end which was frustrating given the work put in by everyone,” Dowsett said. “I spotted an opportunity in December this year to have another go and obviously I want to try and break the record, I want to see what I’m capable of and it’s an event I just really love and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on again.”
The current record stands at 55.089 kilometers, and it was set in April 2019 by Belgian rider Victor Campenaerts at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
A score of star riders have attempted to break the men’s record since 2014, when the UCI standardized rules for the challenge. Jens Voigt broke it in 2014, with Matthias Brändle, Rohan Denis, Dowsett, Wiggins, and then Campenaerts all setting new high marks in succession.
Dowsett comes into the challenge after a season of success. Known for his prowess in individual time trials, Dowsett took his first WorldTour road race victory in October by winning the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia from a daylong breakaway.
The victory helped Dowsett secure a team backing for 2021 and beyond. The Brit recently revealed that he had signed a contract for next season, but did not divulge which team.
In order to set a new mark, Dowsett must ride his bicycle at a speed of 34.23 miles per hour or faster, and hold that pace for an hour on the banked surface of a velodrome.
“In terms of difficulty, this time around I know the bar has been set extremely high by Victor,” Dowsett said. “It’s going to be a very big ask but I think I’m capable.”