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Martin confirms interest in breaking hour record

The German would like to take on the challenge, but only if it fits around his other 2015 goals — like taking back his world TT title

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What started as a trickle is now a flood. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is the latest rider to confirm he will try to take on an hour record attempt, perhaps sometime in 2015.

Speaking to the German website RadSport, the three-time world time trial champion said he would like to tackle the hour record, but only if it fits in with his road racing priorities.

“I will meet with my team in December to see if we can do something without it conflicting with my goals on the road,” he told RadSport. “I will need time to prepare without hurting my condition for the road. I think we can try to find a date within the next year.”

Martin, 29, said the hour attempt is not his priority for 2015, pointing out that a shot at the yellow jersey at the Tour de France in the opening-day time trial, as well as recapturing the world TT title in Richmond, Virginia, will be more important.

“The opening day of the Tour would be like the World Cup final and my season highlight, all in one day, if I can take the yellow jersey,” Martin said. “And for the world championships, I always like to race in the United States, and it should be a great world championships. I hear the course will be good for me. There were not many fans in Ponferrada, but there are a lot of cycling fanatics in the United States, so I am looking forward to it.”

Martin said he will put renewed focus on early-season stage races, such as Paris-Nice or the Tour de Suisse, before taking on the Tour, which not only features an opening-day time trial, but a team time trial as well. And with the world championships a top goal for September, Martin admitted fitting in the hour record would not be easy.

Martin is the latest in a steady stream of riders who are taking renewed interest in the hour record since the UCI changed the rules outlining the prestigious mark. Jens Voigt set a new mark in September (51.115km), only to be bettered by Matthias Brandle (51.852km). Thomas Dekker and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) have both confirmed they will target the hour mark in 2015.

Dekker, currently without a contract for 2015, will be trying to pull together technical assistance to make an attempt, while Wiggins is expected to make a well-planned assault on the historic mark, perhaps sometime in June or July.

Martin admitted that Wiggins, with his track racing background, will have an advantage, and said he would need special training to become accustomed to racing on the oval.

“I raced a bit on the track as a junior, but Wiggins obviously has more experience than me,” Martin said. “It would certainly take me longer to become comfortable on the track. I would need to make a few experiments on the track to see if it’s feasible.”