By Gregor Brown in Doha, Qatar
Eddy Merckx has echoed Lance Armstrong's sentiments regarding the possibility that the seven-time Tour de France winner might attempt to break the current hour record on the velodrome. "Why not? If he is convinced he can do it, he has to do it," Merckx told Cyclingnews.
The American posted an entry on his personal website blog with the same imperative and a photo of a suitable track bike.
"It's a good thing if Lance Armstrong can beat the hour record," added Merckx. The Belgian legend set a record mark of 49.431km on October 25, 1972, which was broken by Ondrej Sosenka in July 2005 with a distance of 49.7km.
"The hour record will always exist. I feel that it is something special I did in my career. You have nothing to win, but all to lose."
The hour record is established by riding the furthest distance on a track in a time of 60 minutes. The International Cycling Union created limits in 2000 on the use of special equipment. It disallowed aero helmets, wheels and frames.
The last time Armstrong talked about the record was during his preparations for the 2005 Tour de France, and this recent photo on his blog indicates the interest may well be there again.
"You want to be on top of your condition for suffering for one hour like that. For sure it will be the hardest of his career," explained Merckx.