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Alex Dowsett confirms plans to reclaim UCI Hour record

Israel Start-Up Nation rider will attempt to beat Victor Campenaerts’ record at altitude in Mexico next month

Alex Dowsett ​has confirmed that he will attempt to break Victor Campenaerts’ UCI Hour Record next month, with the Israel Start-Up Nation rider taking to the same track at Aguascalientes in Mexico on 3 November where the Belgian set the current benchmark of 55.089 kilometres in April 2019.

The British rider previously held the record for five weeks after riding 52.937 kilometres at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester in early May 2015, only for it to be beaten by Sir Bradley Wiggins at London’s Lea Valley VeloPark the following month.

The 33-year-old had planned to try and regain the record in Manchester last December, but had to shelve his plans after testing positive for COVID-19.

> Alex Dowsett forced to postpone Hour Record attempt after testing positive for COVID-19

In a statement released via the UCI today, Dowsett said: “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.

“Last year’s attempt was derailed when I contracted Covid-19 but the same reasons for wanting to do it are all still there. 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.

 “In terms of difficulty I know the bar has been set extremely high by Victor,” he continued.

“It’s going to be a very big ask but I think I’m capable. The biggest hurdle this time with it being in Mexico will be the altitude. Being at altitude the power output required will be lower than at sea level because of the thin air, but it’s not all plain sailing as the thin air also brings a tougher environment for breathing.

“We think in the end it should be more beneficial than detrimental to be at altitude,” added Dowsett, who is following a specific training schedule ahead of his record attempt, including fine-tuning his bike set-up and aerodynamic skinsuit through testing in a wind tunnel.

The UCI has confirmed that his record attempt will be streamed live.

Since the UCI revised the rules back in 2014 to allow contemporary track bikes and equipment to be used, there have been 11 attempts made on the men’s record, the following six being successful:

18.09.2014: Jens Voigt (GER), Grenchen (SUI), 51.110 km
30.10.2014: Matthias Brändle (AUT), Aigle (SUI), 51.852 km
08.02.2015: Rohan Dennis (AUS), Grenchen (SUI), 52.491 km
02.05.2015: Alex Dowsett (GBR), Manchester (GBR), 52.937 km
07.06.2015: Bradley Wiggins (GBR), London (GBR), 54.526 km
16.04.2019: Victor Campenaerts (BEL), Aguascalientes (MEX), 55.089 km

Besides Dowsett’s forthcoming tilt at the record, two riders are likely to make an attempt on it in 2022 – the Italian world time trial champion Filippo Ganna, and Great Britain’s Dan Bigham, who earlier this month rode 54.723 kilometres to break Wiggins’ British record.

> Dan Bigham breaks Sir Bradley Wiggins' British Hour Record

Bigham’s ride, at Grenchen in Switzerland, came two days after his partner Joss Lowden had ridden 48.405 kilometres on the same track to beat Italian rider Vittoria Bussi’s Women’s UCI Hour record of 48.005 kilometres.

> Joss Lowden’s Hour Record-breaking Argon 18 bike and Le Col kit

Dowsett shared his thoughts on a potential attempt to recapture the record when we spoke to him as part of our Drink At Your Desk Live! feature back in April. You can watch the full video of our chat below.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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PRSboy | 2 years ago

Go Alex!

From what I've read about an hour record attempt, its not something I'd want to do twice!

Welsh boy | 2 years ago

Quick Alex, before Ganna goes for it

Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago

Is Dan Bigham planning on getting signed by a UCI World Tour team then?  I thought his issue was getting all the UCI pro-level drug monitoring in place?

Sniffer replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago

He could do that without being with a World Tour team.  The issue is the cost. Without a World Tour team budget his existing team would not be in a place to fund it and I expect without a World Tour salary he may be able to fund it personally. With the effort he produced recently, maybe there is enough sponsorship possible that changes the equation for him.

He is a bit of an anomaly. When the rules were devised I suspect the thinking was any rider in with a sniff of the record would be a World Tour rider and covered by the program anyway.

Gkam84 replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago

Only needs to sell a few of his Anemoi bars at £8.5k a pop...yes

In reality, it doesn't take a world tour budget, nor salary. If you want to get on the testing pool, there are ways to do it cheaper than just forking out the £8k approx that it needs. An example would be, talking to BC and getting on a GB program, agreeing not to take any funding, just doing it to be part of the testing pool, even if he was required to pay that himself, it would be significantly less than paying privately. 

Sniffer replied to Gkam84 | 2 years ago

From what I have read he has not really been at one with the BC setup. This has maybe been resolved with his inclusion in the World Championship team.

STiG911 | 2 years ago

Glad he's still going for it  1 

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