A Dutch track cyclist has revealed that he plans to attempt to break the UCI Hour Record, currently held by Sir Bradley Wiggins, in August next year.
Dion Beukeboom has chosen Aguascalientes in Mexico as the venue where he will try and beat the 54.526 kilometres Wiggins rode at the Lee Valley VeloPark in June 2015.
The reigning Dutch national individual pursuit champion, Beukeboom was identified by sports scientist Jim van den Berg as having the necessary qualities to break the record, reports AD.nl.
Those include his strength and build and ability to generate power on the bike while maintaining an aerodynamic position.
In 2015, van den Berg coached Thomas Dekker when he made an unsuccessful attempt at the record, also in Aguascalientes.
He believes the venue provides a number of advantages compared to the one where Wiggins set his record, not just because of its altitude of almost 1,900 metres but also because Beukeboom would be free of outside distractions.
“Wiggins rode in London on a track at sea level with high air pressure,” he explained.
“It was a commercial party. Tickets were sold, a book was published about the Hour record attempt, VIPs were invited to come and watch.
“But the Hour record is not as good as it could have been. There is a window of opportunity and we want to climb through it."
He added: "The gain achieved through reduced air pressure is greater than the loss through reduced oxygen input.
“Compared to London, Dion will gain between 25 and 45 watts by making his attempt at Aguascalientes. "
Beukeboom, aged 28, said: “I’m under no illusion that I’m a better cyclist than Wiggins. But I also know that Wiggins rode his record in conditions that weren’t ideal. "
He will build his 2018 season around the Hour record with the support of his new team, the UCI Continental outfit Vlasman Cycling Team.
“Over the past two years I’ve tried to secure a contract with a big team,” he said.
“That didn’t work out, mostly because I’m not good enough, maybe because I’m too nice.
“Sometimes you have to be a bastard as a cyclist. I don’t have that quality,” he added.
“In recent years, I’ve just missed out on the road and on the track.
“But if I’m honest, this is exactly what I’m good at; just an hour of hard work.”
“This is not a publicity stunt,” van den Berg added. “Dion can focus on the effort all year long. He really can.
“We would not spend so much time, money and energy if we thought it was impossible.”
Jens Voigt, in the final ride of his professional career, was the first man to set the Hour record after the UCI changed its rules in 2014 to allow modern bikes and equipment.
The record has subsequently broken by Matthias Brändle, Rohan Dennis and Alex Dowsett, who held it for a month before Wiggins took it from him in 2015.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.