Having seen two successful attempts by two non track specialists, cycling fans were today given a stark reminder of just how hard the hour record is as Jack Bobridge, the 4km individual pursuit record holder, came up short in his attempt.
Bobridge, a multiple world champion in the team and individual pursuit, missed the record by some 500m after his lonely hour on the track in Melbourne. His distance of 51.3km will however stand as the Australian record.
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He had been up on his 52km schedule for the first 20 minutes, and at 40km he was still on target, but his lap times then started to slow. From laps 149 to 170 he was consistently lapping in a little over 18 seconds, dropping him under his target.
His schedule was not revealed in the run up to the attempt, although there was talk of setting a new benchmark, but on the day it was announced to be 52km (208 laps), giving him just 148 metres of leeway over the current record.
Although he managed to pick up the pace for the last 30 laps it wasn’t enough to beat the mark set by Matthias Brändle in Switzerland last October.
At the Tour Down Under, Bobridge had looked in good form, winning stage one after a day long break. This, along with his track pedigree, had Alex Dowsett’s camp a little concerned ahead of his February attempt that has since been postponed due to a broken collarbone.
But Bobridge, who has done most of his preparation on the road, eventually missed out on his chance to add his name to one of cycling’s most revered lists.