The changes in the rules for the Hour Record sparked successful attempts by Jens Voigt and Matthias Brändle in 2014 and Australia's Jack Bobridge and Britain's Alex Dowsett are both set to attack the record in early 2015, before Bradley Wiggins' attempt expected in June. Dutchman Thomas Dekker has also announced he will attack the Hour Record despite failing to find a place with a major team for 2015.
Bobridge is expected to confirm his attempt on Thursday with an announcement in Melbourne, while Dowsett's Movistar team has announced a press conference in London for Friday to reveal “a special announcement.”
Dowsett is expected to attack the Hour Record on the London velodrome built for the 2012 Olympics, possibly during the Revolution event on February 27 and 28. Six-time Paralympic cycling champion Sarah Storey announced on Tuesday that she will attack the women's Hour Record at the Revolution. She will be the first woman to attack the record since Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel covered 46.065km in 2003.
Dowsett is reported to be already training for the Hour Record, mixing private track sessions paid for by Movistar with racing at his local track league on the London velodrome. The Briton has proven his skills against the clock and on the track since turning professional. He won the time trial stage at the 2013 Giro d'Italia and a gold medal in the time trial at the Commonwealth Games.
Bobridge opted to step down from WorldTour level and race in Australia with the Budget Forklifts but has the ability to challenge Brandle's current record of 51.852km set in October.
In 2011 Bobridge broke Chris Boardman’s 4km individual pursuit world record of 4:11 on Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome and has impressed in time trials during his five-year European career.
Bobridge first hinted at an Hour Record attempt after winning gold on the track at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last summer.
“Tim has brought it up quite a bit with myself and it’s obviously something that we think is possible doing,” Bobridge told the Advertiser newspaper, referring to talks with his coach Tim Decker.
“It’s something I’d be interested in doing. Wiggo (Wiggins) has said quite a few times he wants to have a go at it, so it might be a thing of letting him do it and then having something to chase. There’s nothing in concrete but it’s something Timmy and I have talked about for sure and it’s just getting the time and place and conditions to do it.”
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.