By Jean-François Quénet
Czech time trial champion Ondrej Sosenka didn't make a huge impact on the cycling world when he broke the hour record, because he chose to give it a go in Moscow, quite far away from the international media which was busy covering the Tour de France at the same time. But journalists might have another chance to become familiar with the 30 year-old giant from Prague. He'll be taken more seriously when he attempts it again.
"To break the hour record has been the peak of my career so far, but I feel I can go over the magic barrier of 50 kilometres," he declared after winning the Chrono des Herbiers in France on Sunday ahead of no less than time trial world champion Michael Rogers. Sosenka scored 49.7 km in July this year, which is 259 metres more than Chris Boardman in Manchester in October 2000 and 269 metres more than Eddy Merckx in Mexico in October 1972, since the UCI has cancelled all the records broken because of modern positioning on the bike by Francesco Moser, Graeme Obree, Chris Boardman, Miguel Indurain and Tony Rominger consecutively.
"I've worked for three months with a team of 10 persons assisting me full time for breaking the record," Sosenka explained. "But I can improve my technique. I have never studied my aerodynamics in a wind tunnel for example, which is something I'll do in Italy early next year. I don't think I'll try the record again too soon though, but it's in my mind for 2007."
In 2006, Sosenka will ride on the road for Acqua e Sapone again.