Alex Dowsett will attempt Hour Record in Mexico, UCI confirms

The British TT star was forced to abandon an attempt last year after catching coronavirus, but he will now try to retake the record at altitude

Alex Dowsett riding stage one of the Giro d'Italia 2021
Alex Dowsett riding stage one of the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Alex Dowsett will attempt to break the Hour Record in Mexico next month. 

British time trial specialist and WorldTour pro Dowsett had planned to take on the prestigious track record in December 2020, but was forced to cancel the attempt after he contracted coronavirus. 

After initially planning to take on the Hour at the Manchester velodrome last year, Dowsett has now moved the event to the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the high-altitude track where Victor Campenaerts set the existing Hour Record. 

Dowsett’s attempt will take place on November 3 at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Mexico, as the 32-year-old attempts to topple the 55.089km set by Belgium’s Campenaerts in April 2019. 

The Essex-born rider previously held the record for just a month in 2015, before his distance was beaten 36 days later by Sir Bradley Wiggins, 

Israel Start-Up Nation pro Dowsett said: “When I took the record in 2015, we rode enough to break the record but I knew I had more in the tank at the end which was frustrating given the work put in by everyone. Last year’s attempt was derailed when I contracted Covid-19 but the same reasons for wanting to do it are all still there. I want to see what I’m capable of and it’s an event I just really love and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on again.

“In terms of difficulty I know the bar has been set extremely high by Victor. It’s going to be a very big ask but I think I’m capable. The biggest hurdle this time with it being in Mexico will be the altitude. Being at altitude the power output required will be lower than at sea level because of the thin air, but it’s not all plain sailing as the thin air also brings a tougher environment for breathing. We think in the end it should be more beneficial than detrimental to be at altitude.” 

The Hour Record, which sees riders cover as much ground as possible in 60 minutes on the track, has been back in focus this year, as Joss Lowden smashed the women’s Hour Record during her attempt in Switzerland last month. 

Her partner Dan Bigham also tackled the British Hour Record, as he builds towards an attempt on the World Hour Record next year. 

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But the race to break the Campenaerts record is now on, as time trial world champion and Olympic gold medallist on the track Filippo Ganna is eyeing up his own attempt, and based on previous form he could smash the existing record.  

In a recent 30-minute test, Ganna averaged 57.5km/h, covering 115 laps of a track - if he had continued to ride the full hour at that pace he would have beaten Campenaerts’ distance but around 2km. 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.