Thomas Dekker has described his attempt at the Hour Record in Aguascalientes as the worst time of his life. Dekker missed Rohan Dennis’ (BMC) benchmark by just over a lap, setting a distance of 52.221 compared to Dennis’ 52.491. While he admitted that losing out by such a small margin was disappointing, the Dutchman was pleased with his effort.
“It was the worst hour of my life." Dekker told Dutch television NOS after completing his attempt. "I got to a very high level and for three months I have given everything, then the sourness that you did not make it… I've proven myself that an hour can be very hard cycling. I think I can be proud of this achievement.”
The effort puts him second in the all-time list behind Dennis and ahead of Mathias Brändle (IAM Cycling), who set the record back in October. Dekker is the third rider to attempt the Hour this year with Jack Bobridge falling short at the end of January. Initially Dekker was up on Dennis’ record with a slim advantage at the half-way point but he began to slow quickly after that. After it looked like he may lose out to Brändle also, the 30-year-old mounted a comeback but it was too late.
"It is not enough for a record, it is a little disappointing, but if I am honest I could not have done better. You always demand the best of yourself and this was the best I could do." said Dekker. "I knew it would be difficult… I knew it beforehand. Rohan is such a good rider, one of the big stars in cycling at the moment. But I think I did a good effort.”
Dekker says that it would have been harder to take the defeat if he had come closer to Dennis. "I was very close, but the gap with Dennis is still about 17 seconds. For myself, I have done well. It would have been worse if I had come to brief a few seconds."
Dekker is currently riding without a team this season after failing to secure a new contract with the newly merged Cannondale-Garmin outfit. He chose to focus his efforts on breaking the record rather than find a new team. In November, Dekker suggested that he may retire after the attempt but his performance will have no doubt piqued the interest of a few teams. However, when asked what the future now held for him the Dutchman simply replied, "I have no idea."