Matthias Brändle: The next man to attack the Hour Record

Everything you need to know (and a few things you probably don't) about the Austrian IAM Cycling rider ahead of his attempt on Jens Voigt's Hour Record

Matthias Brandle wins, Tour of Britain 2014 stage six
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Matthias Brändle will attempt to beat Jens Voigt's Hour Record on Thursday evening at the UCI Headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.

UK fans may be familiar with the Austrian IAM Cycling rider by virtue of his two Tour of Britain stage wins in September.

But if that's all you know about the latest hour challenger, here's your quick primer.

1. Brändle was born on December 7, 1989. His home town is Hohenems in Austria, just five kilometres from Switzerland.

2. His cycling career started aged 12, when he joined the local mountain bike club, RV-Hohenems. “It was a welcome change to football, a sport in which I did not have the necessary talent,” he says. His first road club was Team Pro Cycle Bregenz.

3. He completed a course in mechanical engineering, specialising in plastic technology, at the Bregenz Höhere Technische Lehranstalten (Higher Technical Institute).

4. Brändle has progressed through the cycling ranks. In 2008, he rode with third division Team Ista, and two years later he signed for the Footon-Servetto ProTour squad. It was in their gold kit that he completed his first Grand Tour — the 2010 Giro d’Italia, in which he finished 90th overall, three hours, 18 minutes and nine seconds behind winner Ivan Basso.

Matthias Brandle in escape group, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage five

Matthias Brandle in escape group, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage five
(Image credit: WATSON)

Brändle in Geox colours at the 2011 Tour of Romandy

5. He also completed the 2011 Vuelta a Espana for Geox-TMC. He rode in support of Spaniard Juan Jose Cobo, who beat Team Sky’s Chris Froome by 13 seconds overall. “It was a very special experience,” he said.

6. A year at Team NetApp followed (best result: seventh on stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia). He signed for his current squad, IAM Cycling, in 2013. He is seen below in a breakaway during this year's Critérium du Dauphiné.

Matthias Brandle leads an escape on stage two of the 2014 Dauphine

(Image credit: Graham Watson)

7. This year, Brändle won the Austrian time trial championships for the third time. Then, like a bus, he managed to pick up two victories in as many stages during the Tour of Britain. He clipped off into Exeter on day five after a day long breakaway, and then was part of a three-man move alongside Alex Dowsett that turned the race on its head en route to Hemel Hempstead.

8. He says the perfect way to spend an evening would be driving a Ferrari around a racing track. "Preferrably I'd have [F1 driver] Fernando Alonso as the driving instructor," he adds.. He also owns two motorbikes, and says he uses them to switch off from cycling.

9. Brändle's favourite food is a "fine, tender" steak.

10. He currently lives in Vorarlberg, the westernmost federal state of Austria.

The 24-year-old will make his attempt on the 200m track of the UCI’s World Cycling Centre velodrome in Switzerland, exactly six weeks after Voigt set a new record of 51.115km.

Brandle’s team estimate that he’ll be able to ride around 52km after recent tests. His attempt starts at 6pm British time on Thursday [October 30].

Credit: Ulf Schiller

Jens Voigt sets new Hour Record

Jens Voigt closes career with new World Hour Record of 51.115km

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Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.