Alex Dowsett announces he’ll attempt the Hour Record this year 

The British time trial star hopes to take the world record back from Victor Campenaerts 

Alex Dowsett has announced he will attempt to break the Hour Record once again this year.

The British time trial specialist previously smashed the prestigious world record in 2015, but was beaten just 36 days later as Sir Bradley Wiggins set a new benchmark.

Now the UCI Hour Record is held by Belgium’s Victor Campenaerts, who rode a staggering 55.098 kilometres in 60 minutes, riding on the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico last April. 

But Dowsett, 32, has ambitions to take back the record in December. 

He said: “When I took the record in 2015, we rode enough to break the record but I knew I had more in the tank at the end, which was frustrating given the work put in by everyone. 

“I spotted an opportunity in December this year to have another go and obviously I want to try and break the record. I want to see what I’m capable of and it’s an event I just really love and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on again.

“In terms of difficulty, this time around I know the bar has been set extremely high by Victor. It’s going to be a very big ask but I think I’m capable.” 

The attempt will take place on Saturday, December 12 at the Manchester Velodrome, with all the relevant Covid-19 regulations in place for the event.  

Dowsett returned to the UK after finishing the Giro d’Italia last month, where he raced for Israel Start-Up Nation, and has continued his intense training programme to prepare for the world record attempt. 

He has also undergone wind tunnel testing on his bike and skinsuit. 

It will be a tough ask to break the 55km record set by Campenaerts, who benefitted from decreased air density as he set his benchmark at 1,800 metres above sea level - Manchester is just 38m. 

Dowsett said: “The biggest hurdle to overcome in the Hour Record is actually wind. Put simply, the more efficiently you can cut through the air, the easier holding 55km/h-plus will be.

“The only variable outside of our control is atmospheric pressure so we’ll have our fingers crossed for preferable air pressure come December 12.” 

Dowsett, whose contract with Israel Start-Up Nation comes to an end this year but says he has found a new team, is also hoping to race awareness of haemophilia, a rare disease which causes the body to bleed excessively from any wound.

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The Essex-born rider is believed to be the only known elite athlete to compete in an able-bodied field with the condition - he will be taking on the challenge to support his own charity Little Bleeders and the Haemophilia Society. 

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.