Decision on Campenaerts' Hour Record attempt to be made on Friday
Lotto Soudal rider hoping to beat Wiggins' record in mid-April
Victor Campenaerts expects to know later this week whether he'll be able to make an attempt at beating Bradley Wiggins' Hour Record, which the Lotto Soudal rider has planned for mid-April.
The Belgian has been training in Namibia since early January, and the decision as to whether he actually will travel to the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico to take on the record will be made on Friday, he told Belgian website HLN.be this week.
The reigning European time trial champion will find out whether his team has raised the required amount of sponsorship funds to mount the attempt, which is no small undertaking.
"I have been told that [a cost of] €100,000 is the absolute minimum," Campenaerts told HLN.be. "In that price is the bike, the equipment, the trip to Mexico, the stay there, the use of a high-altitude tent, the costs for staff, the salary for my trainer, the rent of the track, and so on.
"You do not just attack the Hour Record," he said of the cost and logistics around the attempt. "It's a whole project, and that costs money. The team's been working hard to secure the sponsorship, and I've been receiving regular updates from our team manager, John Lelangue. They've been very positive messages, too, so I'm optimistic."
Should it happen, the attempt on Wiggins' 54.526km record – set in London in 2015 – will take place on a favourable day between April 15 and 18.
"The weather is very important," explained Campenaerts. "If we rent the track for four days, we can pick the best day. At that time of year, you tend to have good weather in Mexico for at least one day."
The 27-year-old said that he's been thinking about the Hour Record constantly.
"I've been training as though it's going to happen, which I've had to do if I want to have any chance of breaking it," said Campenaerts. "If I was just waiting for the green light, then it would already be too late, and I'd never reach the form I need in time.
"The record is the reason I chose to base myself here in Namibia to train: the conditions here are similar to those in Mexico, with the same altitude and the same climate."
And if Friday comes and it's not the decision that Campenaerts is hoping for?
"That would be extremely disappointing," he said.
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By Josh Croxton