Cookson hails Voigt record as new magic hour era

UCI president hopes to see surge of attempts with rule change

UCI president Brian Cookson hopes that the hour record, broken today by Jens Voigt in Grenchen, Switzerland, will be just the first of a number of efforts since the UCI rule modification, and challenged the sport's top time trialists to have a go at the record.

"I think this is the first of a whole raft of riders who are going to come through. I can think of a number of riders - Bradley Wiggins, Taylor Phinney, Tony Martin, Fabian Cancellara, all who could have a good shot at it, and I want to encourage them to do so. This is something special, the magic hour we used to call it. I think we're in a new magic hour era."

Under Cookson, the UCI modified the rules for the hour record, removing the "Merckx" requirement that restricted equipment to standard track bikes, without any aerodynamic modifications or clothing, forcing riders to duplicate the effort of Eddy Merckx in 1972.

Since May, the record would be recognized if riders used equipment which is allowed under the current UCI rules for the individual pursuit.

"Things had gotten pretty stagnant [before the new rule], and we saw a huge amount of potential for this record to be brought off the shelf and into the modern era," Cookson said. "The other thing we've done is made sure that anyone who goes for the record is part of the biological passport so we can have confidence in the integrity of the record."

Cookson was thrilled to witness Voigt breaking the record, having witnessed both of Chris Boardman's performances in the past.

"It's inspirational to all of us, it's a fantastic performance," Cookson said of Voigt. "To see a 43-year-old still capable of this performance, it's a huge credit to him."

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