Next week, 30 year-old Liquigas-Bianchi rider Magnus Bäckstedt will try to beat the Derny Paced Hour Record currently held by Dutch Matthé Pronk: 66.114 km. The attempt will take place on the Welsh track of the Newport Velodrome on Saturday, October 29.
"I'm in peak form," the 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner said. "Derny paced training is going well - at an average of two hours per day - and by now I'm in perfect harmony with the pacer [the Derny pilot - ed.], Brit Paul Spender. Managing energies throughout 60 minutes and psychological endurance will be decisive: the support of the public could be a determining factor."
From a technical point of view, Bäckstedt is concentrating on acquiring the ideal pacing rhythm suited to his characteristics as a rider. "I think that recordman Pronk had a cadence of 140 rpm, while I can manage to hold 135 for half an hour. I have to count on power rather than agility." The Swede therefore could use a front chainring of between 58 and 60 and a 13 rear sprocket.
After the record attempt, Bäckstedt could take part in one or two Six Day races, but "definitely before Christmas, and on a long track suiting my characteristics." As for Ondrej Sosenka's hour record, the Swede didn't rule out a challenge. "I like the idea but it will depend on the result in Newport," he concluded. Sosenka wants to try and break the 50 kilometre-mark in 2007, to top his own record of 49.7 km established in July.
Meanwhile, Magnus Bäckstedt is also involved in supporting a fundraiser for a 250 m cycle track in the heart of Bournemouth, UK. The local cycling community is aiming to raise £25,000 as a contribution the project, and Bäckstedt has donated a signed jersey to be auctioned on eBay.
For further information, please go to www.wintoncyclingcentre.org.uk/