Matt White on Bobridge and Dennis world hour record attempts

Orica-GreenEdge sports director rules out Hepburn bid

Rohan Dennis and Jack Bobridge should be able to "smash" the world hour record of Austrian Matthias Brändle which both Australian riders have announced they will attempt next year, according to Orica-GreenEdge head sports director Matt White. White was full of praise for the announcements by Dennis on Wednesday and Bobridge on Thursday that they will attempt to better Brandle's mark of 51.852km.

Bobridge, who next year will ride for the Budget Forklifts National Road Series team, will make his record attempt at the Darebin International Sports Centre in Melbourne on January 31 on the final night of the Australian track titles and on the eve of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in nearby Geelong.

Dennis (BMC), meanwhile, will go for the hour record at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland on February 8.

"It's a really good idea. Both of them have the ability to smash the record," White told Cyclingnews. "Those two definitely have it in them to put in a fair bit of distance [on the record]. It will be a very good a marker. They are obviously [track] specialists. Their ability on the track will certainly serve them a lot of good. I think Rohan will go further."

However, even if Bobridge and Dennis live up to White's expectation, he believes it will only be a matter of time before "the big hitters" extend the mark even further.

"Rohan and Jack are obviously world class guys; but I think they want to get ahead of the curve there before a Wiggins or a Cancellara or a Tony Martin has a big go at it.

"Those guys have made it pretty public that the earliest any of those big hitters are going to go for the record is …. I think Wiggins was saying in the summer.

"So there is a window for that record to tumble many times."

The biggest challenge facing Bobridge and Dennis, believes White: "Is the big unknown. They have done hour time trials but not an hour time trial on the track.

"Having never done a record like that ... reading between the lines of what those who have done it say, it is just mind numbing. You really have to stay concentrated.

"They have the ability … so it will be that concentration for the hour. When you are on your limit for an hour hopefully your body can handle the work load it is under."

Meanwhile, White also revealed that there had been talk of Australian time trial champion Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) also making a record attempt."

However, White confirmed that despite interest from the Australian team's sponsors – in particular Scott bikes – the former track endurance rider will not make any bid.

"There was a little bit of talk of it, mainly by our sponsors," White said. "They were pretty keen. But he won't be attempting it. In his [road race] program, it just didn't fit.

"I am pretty sure he is of the same ability as Rohan and Jack. But what we have planned for Hepburn didn't align with going for the hour record … in this season.

"Things might change, but I very much doubt it with the Olympics [in 2016]."

Rupert Guinness is a sports writer on The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media)

 

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