Magnus Bäckstedt has failed in his attempt to break the derny-paced Hour Record at the Newport Velodrome in Wales on Saturday evening, riding 58.25 km - well short of Matthe Pronk's 66.114 km that he set in Amsterdam in 2004. Cyclingnews' Nick Rosenthal reports that the big Swede was down on Pronk's figures from the start, and by 30 minutes it looked impossible for him. But he courageously carried on until the end, completing 233 laps of the 250m velodrome and giving the moderately sized crowd value for money.
It was a disappointment for Magnus, as according to his derny riders, he had been on the pace during several 40 minute practice sessions last week. But a choice to increase his gearing to a gigantic 60x12 may have cost him, as he never seemed to be on top of the gear from the start. His promoter Martin McCrossan told us at halfway that Bäckstedt was suffering from heat from the track, even though the conditions were fairly mild: it had been around 15 degrees during the day with some rain in the afternoon.
At the end of the attempt, Bäckstedt was interviewed by David Duffield, and said that he would definitely go for it again. "I want this record for myself," he said. Bäckstedt extensively thanked the crowd and everyone who had been involved in his preparation, and was sorry he hadn't achieved the mark set by Pronk. He did, however, have the strength to pick up his daughter after the finish.
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Images by Nick Rosenthal/fatnick.com
- The derny has been checked and cleaned, ready for the hour-long effort.
- Backstedt brought a few Liquigas team-mates along for moral support.
- Nicole Cooke popped in to spectate.
- Pacer Paul Spender looked relaxed before the start.
- The Liquigas lads were happy to pose for the camera.
- Big Magnus looked relaxed before the start.
- Backstedt was happy to spend time signing a Swedish flag for a fan.
- The record attempt at Newport Velodrome was supported by a full evening of racing.
- British trackie James Taylor in full flight.
- Dario Cioni makes a rare appearance on the track, riding in the roadman's pursuit.
- Patrick Calcagni sneaks a look across the track to see if he is beating Cioni.
- Mario Scirea shows that riding a bike can be fun. The former pro is now a directeur sportif with Liquigas, but got back on his bike to support Backstedt.
- Mario Milesi seems to be enjoying himself, too!
- Does green suit me? Mario Scirea shows the effect of the full green outfit.
- The UCI commissaries check that the derny meets the regulations before the hour attempt.
- Craig Maclean leads the pack in the Keirin race.
- Ross Edgar makes Jon Norfolk come round the hard way.
- Steve Cumming put in an appearance for the evening, reverting to his track roots.
- Magnus Backstedt concentrates on holding the line and the wheel
- The strain shows on the faces of both the cyclist and the derny driver.
- Magnus focuses on keeping close to the derny's back mudguard.
- Cranking it over - travelling at around 65 km/h produces a lot of G-force. 260 laps, with four bends (or transitions, if we want to get technical) per lap equals 1040 transitions - or 1040 changes in pressure on the, um, saddle region.
- The eyes have it. A close look shows how deep Magnus is digging.
- Big Magnus sneaks a look at the scoreboard.
- Magnus Backstedt sits behind pacer Paul Spender during their attempt on the Derny Paced Hour Record in Newport, Wales.
- Magnus and pacer Paul Spender about halfway through the attempt
- A spare derny circled the track for the whole hour, ready to take over the pacing if the normal derny has any problems.
- Backstedt grits his teeth.
- When the coach says ride close to the derny, this is what he means.
- Digging deep - really deep.
- Magnus Backstedt shows the signs of the effort, which fell well short of Matthe Pronk's 66.114 km
- Hitting the pain barrier in the closing minutes.
- Martin McCrossan gets ready to catch Backstedt as the big Swedish pro leaves the track.
- Backstedt shares an emotional moment with his promoter at the end of the record attempt.
- Backstedt is mobbed by the media as he gets off his bike.
- Ouch! Backstedt recovers after the effort.
- Professional - within a couple of minutes of sitting down, Backstedt was giving an interview to Swedish TV.
- Eurosport commentator David Duffield interviewed Magnus a few minutes after the record attempt, and the big Swede thanked the enthusiastic Newport crowd for their support.