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Dowsett 'in a good place' as he acclimatises for Hour Record in Mexico

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Alex Dowsett doing test runs in Mexico (Image credit: MC Digital Media Ltd)
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Dowsett gets lap timings from his coach (Image credit: MC Digital Media Ltd)
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The Aguascalientes velodrome stands at 1800m (Image credit: MC Digital Media Ltd)

Alex Dowsett says he's "in a good place" as he trains in Mexico in the lead-up to his UCI Hour Record attempt next Wednesday. 

The British rider briefly held the Hour Record in 2015, clocking 52.937km the UK, but lost it to Bradley Wiggins after just a month. The benchmark now stands at 55.089km courtesy of  Victor Campenaerts, who took the record at the same Aguascalientes velodrome two years ago. 

Dowsett travelled to Aguascalientes earlier this week in order to acclimatise to the time difference and altitude, as well as being able to run final tests on the track he'll use for the main event. 

"We’ve done some four-minute runs and we've been doing some testing, I'm fortunate to have a set of Campagnolo Ghibli [wheels] and a set of HEDs [HED VOLO wheels] at my disposal and it's looking like we'll go with the HEDs," he said on Thursday in a press release from his camp.

"Today we're testing tyre pressures, so far it isn't showing anything out of the ordinary which is good and we'll start knocking in some longer runs, but the problem so far has been going slow enough. But then it's easy to get carried away, especially when it's only four minutes. 

"I'm feeling good... I shouldn't be feeling super in these first few days, I should be feeling super in a week's time once I'm over the travel and have thrown in a taper. I’m in a good place."

Dowsett made his successful 2015 attempt near sea level in Manchester, UK, but will try to recapture the record at the Aguascalientes velodrome, which stands at 1,800 metres.

The lower air pressure at altitude makes for reduced aerodynamic drag but conversely makes for reduced oxygen consumption. Dowsett has a season base at nearly 2,000 metres in Andorra but still feels the altitude is the biggest factor in his second attempt. 

"It's quite a different beast coming to altitude to do an Hour Record because the requirements are so different and you've got to travel the same speed, but actually the difference at that speed compared with sea level is quite significant," he said. 

"We calculated that in terms of moving the air around you it's the equivalent of riding 43 kilometres in an hour at sea level which is staggering, however with that comes the distinct lack of oxygen up here."

Dowsett is making the attempt independently from his trade team, Israel Start-Up Nation, organising the event himself and choosing his own equipment and kit. He is aiming to raise awareness for haemophilia, riding for his own charity Little Bleeders, with the support of various other sponsors.

Dowsett will start his Hour at 4pm local time on Wednesday November 3, which is 10pm in the UK, where it will be streamed online by the BBC. It will also be streamed on Dowsett's own YouTube channel, as well as that of the UCI.