Former British Time Trial champion Alex Dowsett is set to attempt the prestigious hour record before World Time Trial champion and fellow Brit Bradley Wiggins, who plans on attempting to beat the mark next summer.
Dowsett, who rides for Movistar, has always said he would be interested in the event and when asked recently about it confirmed his intentions: “For sure it’s something I’d like to have a crack at”.
Movistar are set to announce the attempt this Friday at a press conference in what the team describe as ‘a special announcement’. The effort is believed to be on home soil at the London 2012 Olympic velodrome - now named the Lee Valley velodrome - on February 27. Fellow British cyclist Sarah Storey announced on Tuesday that she will be attempting to break the female hour record the following day.
The hour record has been re-modernised lately with riders more willing to partake in the historic event due to the UCI relaxing regulations on modern equipment. This has seen Jens Voigt and then Matthias Brandle setting record marks and a number of riders planning to write their name in cycling history at the beginning of 2015.
This is before high profile time trial riders, such as Wiggins, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellera are believed to attempt it later on in the year.
Dowsett shouldn’t fear his attempt being easily beaten by his British rival as he has big stage pedigree against Wiggins in one on one races, having beaten him in the 2013 Giro d’Italia when Wiggins was defending Tour de France champion.
The man from Essex is also coming off a successful 2014 season with a gold medal winning ride in the Commonwealth games Time Trial as well as holding the lead during the Tour of Britain. However Wiggins did beat him to the British title last year before producing an outstanding World Championship ride in Ponferrada, Spain to conclude his season.
Despite the British cycling public embracing any record attempt on home soil, the magnitude of the achievement by anyone won't be fully appreciated until cycling's big guns hit the velodrome boards next summer.