Alex Dowsett announces second Hour Record attempt

Attempt to regain record from Bradley Wiggins set for early 2017

Alex Dowsett
(Image credit: Dan Gould)

Alex Dowsett has announced that he will have a second attempt at the UCI Hour Record after seeing his previous record broken by Bradley Wiggins.

Dowsett set a mark of 52.937km in Manchester in May 2015, but saw Wiggins surpass that distance only a month later with a new record of 54.526km.

No specific date has yet been set for the record attempt, but it will take place some time in early 2017 before the Giro d'Italia, with Dowsett choosing Manchester velodrome as the location due to the faster conditions that it can offer compared to the Olympic velodrome in London.

“Nothing’s confirmed just yet, but we’re working towards it. It’s got its challenges – just putting it on, getting everything together. We can’t announce anything confirmed but it is something we’re working towards,” Dowsett told Cycling Weekly.

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The 28-year-old admitted he “knows” he has much more to give in the Hour, and that having the knowledge of already setting the record once before will help him this time around.

“Before Wiggins broke my record I was like ‘we need to go again because that wasn’t what I can do’,” he said.

“We will approach it in the same way we did last time; no egos, no trying to show just how great we are. It’ll be about breaking the record.

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“The first 50 minutes will be super controlled, super regimented. The last time I upped it with five minutes to go. This time I might make the call with 10 minutes to go now I’ve got the confidence – I spent the last attempt waiting 50 minutes for it to really bite, and it didn’t.

“This attempt if it’s not biting… I imagine it will because it’s a slightly bigger mark than it was before. It’s exciting.”

Dowsett revealed his biggest motivation for attempting the record for the second time is to inspire more people with haemophilia – a condition he has.

“In cycling a non-cycling fan has only heard of the Tour de France, but winning Paris-Roubaix or the Giro is massive.

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“I can’t win the Tour de France but I can break a world record, and a world record is something that’s very relatable to the general public and more importantly to the rare disease and haemophilia community,” he continued.

Alex Dowsett in action during the Stage 7 time trial of the 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico

Alex Dowsett in action during the stage seven time trial of the 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico. Photo: Graham Watson
(Image credit: Watson)

“That’s a huge source of inspiration for me; far bigger than simply winning bike races for myself. Knowing that there’s young haemophiliacs and families taking inspiration and hope from it, is massive.”

Like his attempt in 2015, the record is likely to see Dowsett combine with his Movistar team, Endura and Canyon. Scottish clothing company Endura has even created a life-size mannequin of Dowsett in his time trial position – as unveiled at the Rouleur Classic earlier this month – to save him time going into a wind tunnel.

“It’s quite a ridiculous life I lead sometimes! It’s got so important that now I don’t have to go to the wind tunnel, there’s a replacement me,” he joked.

The record attempt was announced at an event to mark the one year anniversary of Little Bleeders, a charity set up by Dowsett to support children with haemophilia.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.