By Susan Westemeyer
British cyclist Chris Hoy just missed in his second attempt at the kilometre world record at altitude by a mere five thousands of a second on Sunday.
Hoy holds the sea-level record of 1.00.711, and is trying to break the altitude record of 58.875 seconds set by Arnaud Tournant in 2001. Hoy's first attempt on Saturday was .228 seconds slower that Tournant's record.
The 31-year-old was ahead of the record on his first two laps Sunday in La Paz, Bolivia, but fell behind on the third and final lap. The time was so close that fans thought he had broken the record, but when the news came that he was just above Tournant's time, Hoy was crushed.
Reports from Hoy's personal website, www.chrishoy.com described the agony the race inflicted upon the British track star. "Chris had given everything he had and he was really hurting [as] he rode round two warm-down laps, and the suddenly collapsed on the back straight. He came down on the grass and within seconds help was there getting him out of his pedals and onto oxygen. He took a full 10 minutes before he got up and was rolled on his bike back to the pits."
He may try again. "He'll just go and sit in his room and focus on getting that five thousands of a second," technical assistant Ken Farnes told the BBC.
Later in the day, Hoy succeeded in breaking the 500 metre flying start record previously set by Frenchman Arnaud Dublé in La Paz in 2001 of 25.850 seconds. Hoy smashed the record by more than a second with a time of 24.758.