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Alex Dowsett shatters UCI Hour record

26-year-old manages 52.937km at the Manchester velodrome

Britain’s Alex Dowsett broke Rohan Dennis’s UCI Hour record in Manchester this afternoon. The Australian’s record stood at 52.491km. Dowsett, who had also pushed Dennis into second place in the Commonwealth Games time trial, managed 52.937km.

“In my naivety, when I started track racing at the age of 15, I pitched up to a track league and asked if anyone ever tried the hour record in the track league session, and I got laughed at,” said Dowsett prior to his attempt.

Presumably, no-one’s laughing now.

Dennis had slowed in the final ten minutes of his attempt, but Dowsett did not and it was at around this point that he first went ahead of the Australian. From then on, it seemed the only question was not whether he would break the record but by how much distance.

“The first thirty minutes were easy, compared to what I expected,” said the new record holder. “The last 10 minutes were a bit grippy,” he added, presumably with a degree of understatement.

Part of the motivation for Dowsett’s attempt was to raise awareness of haemophilia and in that sense he has arguably achieved an even bigger victory.

Earlier this week, he told how being a young haemophiliac had been tough. “There was only a predicted gloomy outcome, talk of wheelchairs, crutches, joints fused in place or replaced, a far cry from the Alex you see before now.”

He has spoken on a number of occasions about the support his parents have given him over the years and says that the sacrifices they made are why he was happy for his mother to miss today’s attempt. While his dad was present, his mum was on a cruise in Norway, which had been booked before he was forced to reschedule his attempt after fracturing his collarbone in a crash in training.

Dowsett told AFP that he hoped his effort might prove an inspiration to others with haemophilia.

“What we’re trying to do for both the haemophilia community and the rare disease community, and anyone who has had adversity to overcome, is be a source of motivation and inspiration.

“We try to show that you can’t let haemophilia dictate your life, even if it shapes your life. When I was a kid I was told I couldn’t play contact sports so I did a lot of swimming which meant that when I tried cycling, I was pretty quick straight away.”

Pretty quick indeed.

The next significant attempt on the Hour will come from Sir Bradley Wiggins who will look to beat the record on Sunday June 7 at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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daveeagle | 9 years ago

When the (expensive) tickets for Wiggos attempt sold out in ten minutes I saw a twitter comment saying Dowsett tickets were only £11, so I went to Manchester velodrome website only to find no link to tickets so gave up !
On Thursday I got an email from British cycling (I'm a member) offering discounted tickets at £9, BRILLIANT, only I was on shift that weekend and 2 days notice is a little short.
Nuts, should've tried to get a rest day !

RobD | 9 years ago

I enjoyed his comment when asked if he'd have another go after saying it was 'only terrible' and that he might have another go after June 7th.
Wiggins may well break his record (although I think it'll be tougher than some people are making out), but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Alex takes it back off of him looking at how well he rode on Saturday.

offshore_dave | 9 years ago


I haven't seen the highlights yet but hopefully I can track them down later.

Simon E replied to offshore_dave | 9 years ago
offshore_dave wrote:

I haven't seen the highlights yet but hopefully I can track them down later.

4min 50secs (which I don't think is long enough to get more than the bare essentials).

Someone has put up the full hour + before/after at

Pinaman | 9 years ago

Just returned too, I was surprised as well that it was not full, but the atmosphere was great and we all enjoyed it

Beefy | 9 years ago

Just got home from Velo, fantastic ride!! atmosphere amazing though very surprised not a sell out. He looked like he had even more in the tank!  36

timothy | 9 years ago

Fantastic, that'll give Wiggins a real tough record if he can beat this one. Great ride.

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