Fabian Cancellara could attempt to break the hour record in 2014; reviving interest in one of cycling’s most prestigious but most difficult record.
The four-time world time trial champion hinted he would attempt the hour record during the summer and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Cancellara will sit down with team manager and personal coach Luca Guercilena next week at the first Trek team get together in Belgium to study the details of the attempt.
Ondrej Sosenka currently holds the official hour record after covering a distance of 49.700km in Moscow in 2005. Sosenka’s career ended when he tested positive for methamphetamine at the Czech time trial championships three years later.
Cancellara attempt would bring back considerable prestige to cycling’s most prestigious record.
It has lost much of its lustre since the UCI opted to ban tri-bars and re-set the record to Eddy Merckx’s 49.431km set in 1972. That decision saw Chris Boardman’s 56.375km on the since outlawed “Superman” position from Manchester in 1996 downgraded to the status of “Best Human Effort,” and the previous bests set by Francesco Moser (1984), Graeme Obree (1993 and 1994), Miguel Indurain (1994) and Tony Rominger (1994) were also expunged from the record books.
Boardman brought the curtain down on his professional career in October 2000 by bettering Merckx’s record on a traditional bike in Manchester, clocking 49.441km. Since then the best time trialists and track riders have all opted to forgo the hour record due to fear of failing and lack of sponsorship.
“First of all we’ll study the equipment with the engineers from Trek, then we’ll decide the right moment to go for it. The ideal moment would be after a peak of form: he needs three weeks of specific training to get used to the track,” Guercilena explained to Gazzetta dello Sport.
“There are two possible moments in the season: after the spring Classics or after the first of the two Grand Tours that Fabian has on his programme.
It was reported that Cancellara could go for the hour record on the new track in Grenchen, Switzerland, not from his home in Berne. However Guercilena knows that a fast track is needed for a successful record attempt.
“The track has to be the fastest there is,” he said.
“We haven‘t done any specific tests but speaking to experts, it seems there are three fast tracks: Manchester, Aguascalientes (Mexico) and Anadia (Portugal).