Hour Record: Campenaerts planning April attempt in Mexico

European time trial champion to prepare in Namibia

Lotto Soudal's Victor Campenaerts has announced that he hopes to attempt to beat Bradley Wiggins' Hour Record in April 2019, following a two-week training camp in Namibia.

If that seems like an unorthodox place to train for the Hour Record, Campenaerts explained that he'll be training with a couple of triathletes at a warm-weather, high altitude camp, which would be far more preferable to riding up and down Mount Tiede in Tenerife.

"I know from experience that training camps in Tenerife can be boring," he said on HLN.be. "You sit on a mountain for two months, and time can go by very slowly. Hence my choice to stay in Namibia.

"You need a good and stable climate to train a lot, which Namibia is perfect for," he continued, explaining that the camp would be at 1,800 metres – and therefore similar in height to the high-altitude velodrome in Aguascalientes, in Mexico, where he hopes to make the attempt on Wiggins' 54.526km record.

The 26-year-old Belgian made public his desire to try to beat the record just days after taking the bronze medal at the elite men's individual time trial in September at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships, where he finished behind winner Rohan Dennis of Australia and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.

Three days after winning his Worlds medal in Innsbruck, Austria, Campenaerts took to the track in Grenchen, Switzerland, where a half-an-hour effort saw him riding at an average speed of 54.8 kph, with the last four laps ridden at 60 kph, "to see what was left in the tank", as he told Het Nieuwsblad at the time.

"I think the Hour Record is within my capabilities because Wiggins didn't have the ideal temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions for his attempt," Campenaerts said.

"But I'm a road racer, and must first get permission from Lotto Soudal to miss a month of the Classics [in April] to make an attempt on the Hour Record," he told HLN.be, who report that the team is on board with the idea, but are working on the logistics of such an attempt in Mexico.

"As that would also be at altitude, it would effectively be a third month of altitude training," Campenaerts said, perhaps in a bid to convince his team that trying to beat what will next year be an almost four-year-old record might benefit the European time trial champion's 2019 road season.

"The track at Mexico has the ideal conditions for an Hour Record attempt," said Campenaerts. "The air resistance is quite low, and that should help me to improve on Wiggins' 54.526km distance. My test just after the World Championships showed that it should be possible."

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