UCI president Brian Cookson hopes that the recent run of Hour Record attempts will persuade yet more riders to take on the test. In May of this year, the UCI relaxed the rules regarding equipment in the hope to re-ignite the flagging event. Since the rules changed the retiring Jens Voigt and IAM Cycling rider Matthias Brändle have stepped up to the plate, but Cookson wants more.
"I hope that the achievements of Jens and Matthias inspire other great cyclists to attempt to overcome one of the most challenging tests in our sport," Cookson said. "Cycling should adapt to the times and so we opted for modernizing the rules of the hour record. It is fantastic that we were able to witness two exploits of this calibre in such a short space of time. It also proves that the record is fully revitalised."
Voigt was the first to take it on in September but his record didn't stand long as the Austrian Brändle beat his benchmark by over half a kilometre. Cookson praised the efforts of Brändle who's greatest achievements, until this week, were two stage wins at the Tour of Britain and the Austrian National Time Trial Championships – which he has won three times. Brändle was ahead of Voigt from almost the start and set an average speed of over 52kph during the first 45 minutes but faded towards the end.
"What Matthias Brändle did is a tremendous accomplishment. He was the first rider to reach towards 52 kilometres, which is very special for cycling and the hour record," he said. "A performance like this shows our sport in the best way possible. The hour record is an example of cycling in its purest form, with riders getting the best from themselves. I think it's one of the most difficult goals and requires perfect planning."
It shouldn't be long until we see our next hour record attempt, with Alex Rasmussen, former record holder Ondřej Sosenka and World Time Trial Champion Bradley Wiggins all saying that they would take it on at some point over the next 12 months.