Attempt will take place in Aguascalientes, Mexico
Fabian Cancellara’s hour record attempt will take place on August 3, in Aguascalientes, Mexico, according to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport.
The hour record has stood since 2005, when it was set by little known Acqua e Sapone rider Ondrej Sosenka. His distance of 49.7 kilometres is what Cancellara is aiming to beat.
In the past, the hour record was seen as one of the ultimate achievements, with riders such as Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Jacques Anquetil and Fausto Coppi all laying down records. As bikes got better, the distances drastically increased, until the UCI put their foot down and began to regulate the equipment available to the riders.
These days, riders are not allowed to use time trial helmets, disc or tri-spoke wheels, aerodynamic bars or monocoque frames. Aggressive riding positions, such as Graeme Obree’s superman position, are banned too.
The hour record has suffered it’s fair share of scandal. Moser admitted to using a blood transfusion to assist him in his attempt, although it was not banned at the time. Anquetil’s second record was stripped from the books after he refused to take a post-attempt anti-doping test. The most recent holder was later banned for doping infractions too.
Since Sosenka’s attempt, it has fallen out of favour. However, it was recently revived with Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins both saying that they would try to beat the record at some point in the next 12 months. Current time trial world champion Tony Martin hasn’t totally disregarded a bid for it either.
Cancellara announced his intentions to attempt the hour record last year. Since then rumours have spread as to where and when it would take place. Mallorca and Moscow were both picked as potential venues, but Trek have opted for the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico.
Mexico became popular with riders attempting the hour, due to its altitude. Four of the last six were set on the track Mexico City.
Aguascalientes also has prior when it comes to setting records. Of the 17 available records on the track, not including the hour its self, nine have been set in the Mexican velodrome. However, only one of those is an endurance event; the women’s 4000m pursuit. For Cancellara, it will be a fine balance between the speed gained by the altitude and the lack of oxygen to fuel his hard-working muscles.
The date has been picked due to a busy schedule for Cancellara and the Trek team that will be there to support him. The Swiss rider will begin his track training in April, with increased intensity sessions in July. Although it is not set in stone, with Gazzetta stating that “the situation is likely to evolve.”
Trek is taking it very seriously and have given 15 engineers and mechanics to help Cancellara in his bid, says Gazzetta.
Currently, Cancellara is racing at the Tour of Oman as he builds up towards his classics campaign.