'I think it’s a 50-50': Victor Campenaerts unsure if Alex Dowsett will break his Hour Record

The current Hour Record holder says he is happy to cede it to Dowsett and won't try and regain the title if he does manage to beat him on Wednesday in Mexico

Victor Campenaerts Hour Record
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Victor Campenaerts has revealed that he would be happy for Alex Dowsett to break his UCI Hour Record, as Dowsett prepares for the challenge in Mexico on Wednesday.  

Campenaerts holds the current hour record with a distance of 55.089km, which he set in April 2019 after breaking the benchmark set by Bradley Wiggins four years prior. Wiggins beat Dowsett on that occasion, just a month after the latter had set the new record.

Dowsett will attempt the Hour Record for the second time in his career on Wednesday at the Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico, 1800m above sea level and at the same venue where Campenaerts produced a performance that hasn't been beaten since. 

Speaking on his YouTube channel, the Belgian wished Alex the best of luck, highlighting that he would congratulate him if he managed to ride farther than 55.089km. If it is broken though, Campenaerts revealed that he doesn't expect to have any plans to try and wrestle the record back.

>>> How to watch Alex Dowsett's Hour Record attempt: Live stream the event from Mexico

“If he breaks it, I’m happy for him," Campenaerts said. "Records are there to be broken, and Alex is a nice guy. I also know what it would mean to him to break the record, so I would be happy for him."

“I don’t think I’d go back after him - not on short notice anyway - because of changes in my career. I think I lost a lot of my time trial abilities. It would be already hard to break my own record, so if Alex breaks it, I will just cheer hard for him, congratulate him, and not go back after him.”

During the video, Campenaerts also spoke about Dowsett's chances of breaking his record, and what it'll take for him to be successful.

"I think it’s a 50-50 per cent chance that he can break my record," Campenaerts said. "I think the biggest benefit Alex has over me is that he already had the Hour Record before. He already did an attempt and the full preparation.

"I prepared for the Hour Record very well but by doing it all I learned some things that I would do differently. That’s a big advantage Alex has – that he has the experience."

Also in Dowsett's favour, Campenaerts suggests, is the benefit he has in selecting the best equipment and technology that provides him with as much speed as possible. With the Briton attempting the challenge independent of his Israel Start-Up Nation team, he has the ability to choose whatever he wants to use and wear, regardless of sponsors. 

"Technology hasn’t been standing still. Everything goes forward," Campenaerts said. "Tyres are getting faster, frames are getting more aero, suits are getting faster, you have faster chainrings, raster chain lubes. All marginal gains but those margins are all very important in the end if you want to break an Hour Record.

"There are also new rules. Alex can ride with aero shoe covers, which I wasn’t allowed, though that’s only a small advantage.

"All marginal gains, but all very important if you want to break the hour record."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.