By Nigel Wynn
British time trial star Matt Bottrill was to put in an attempt at the iconic Hour Record this summer, but a series of setbacks caused by lack of clarity in the rules have forced him to put the attempt on ice.
Bottrill was initially due to attempt the record in August, then September but has now been informed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that any rider wishing to attempt the record must be part of its biological passport anti-doping programme.
Currently only riders in WorldTour-level ProTeams, Professional Continental teams and selected other individuals are part of the passport scheme. This rules out the majority of track riders and riders who are not part of top-level international road teams.
"There is no wording in the rules saying a biological passport is needed," Bottrill told Cycling Weekly. "But I heard on the grapevine that this was going to be applied. So I emailed the UCI last week and got confirmation that this was the case."
"The first plan was [to do the attempt on] August 8, but then we read the rules and it was not clear if a time trial bike was allowed. Then I got confirmation it was, but that took a week," explained Bottrill. "So then the plan was to go for September 14 at Newport. But then I got the news that I could not do it. I could go for the masters record, but it's not quite the same."
Bottrill has been training for the event, and has the bike ready. However, without the lengthy process of building up a biological passport profile, he is not eligible to make the attempt.
When contacted by Cycling Weekly, a spokesperson at the UCI told us: "Clearly it is in the interests of the sport to ensure that riders who attempt iconic records such as the Hour do so on equal terms.
"For those riders who are not already in the Athlete Biological Passport programme, that will mean a degree of testing to establish their biological profiles by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) - the independent body mandated by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to carry out the anti-doping testing programme in cycling - before the attempt."
The UCI altered the rules for the Hour Record in May, scrapping the controversial 'athlete's hour record' with its highly-specific equipment regulations. Anyone attempting the record can now use a track pursuit bike which adheres to UCI rules for such a bike.
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) have both expressed an interest in attempting the record. Both riders are part of the UCI's biological passport scheme as they ride for WorldTour teams.
The Hour Record is recorded as the distance ridden by a cyclist within a one-hour period. The current record is 49.7km set by the Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka.
The UCI regulations on the Hour record can be read here. Rule 3.5.026 on page 73
Fabian Cancellara still planning on Hour Record attempt, along with Bradley Wiggins and Tony Martin
Bradley Wiggins will stay on at Team Sky until 2016, but says his days of being a Grand Tour contender
'I thought I was having a heart attack on the start line': Mechanical engineer, mother of two, making Pakistani history
Alongside Asma Jan, Kanza Malik made history as the first Pakistani women to race internationally
By Jonny Long •
Specialized introduces Mirror 3D printed tech to Romin Evo saddle
The long nosed race saddle now comes complete with Mirror level squish
By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan •
Joss Lowden announces Hour Record attempt
The Brit unofficially smashed the previous record in training earlier this year
By Alex Ballinger •
Victor Campenaerts says Alex Dowsett has a '50 per cent chance of beating the Hour Record'
Victor Campenaerts says Alex Dowsett has a 50 per cent chance of beating his Hour Record in Manchester on December 12 2020
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •
John Lee, 90, claims fourth Hour Record
Veteran record breaker adds another one to his peerless palmarès
By Simon Smythe •
Victor Campenaerts reveals gearing options for Hour Record attempt
Victor Campenaerts has revealed the gearing options for his Hour Record attempt next week.
By Alex Ballinger •
Sir Bradley Wiggins believes his hour record will be beaten next year
Sir Bradley Wiggins believes that Belgian Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) will beat his hour record in 2019.
By Gregor Brown •
Graeme Obree to attempt Herne Hill flying lap record at new event in June
Scottish cycling legend Graeme Obree will mark the 25th anniversary of his Hour Record by attempting to set a new lap record at Herne Hill in London at the World Cycling Revival event
By Nigel Wynn •
90-year-old Frenchman rides more than 29km to set new age group Hour Record
A 90-year-old French rider has set a new Hour Record for his age group, riding 29.278km, or slightly over 117 laps, at a velodrome in Paris.
By Henry Robertshaw •
Graeme Obree's 'Beastie' bike among his memorabilia up for auction
Former Hour record holder and world champion Graeme Obree puts famous medals, bikes and other memorabilia up for auction this week
By Nigel Wynn •