Four, the record: Inside the race to smash the Individual Pursuit four-minute barrier

The individual pursuit may no longer be an Olympic event but the race to break the four-minute barrier has taken on a new urgency

Huub-Wattbike have turned the velodrome into a laboratory

Away from the spotlight of the WorldTour or the Olympics, in spare bedrooms and on massive spreadsheets, a classic rivalry is brewing.

On one side, one of the greatest athletes ever to sling his leg over a top tube, on the other a team of British underdogs with physical talent but more importantly, higher levels of stealth and cunning.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.