Victor Campenaerts says Alex Dowsett has a '50 per cent chance of beating the Hour Record'

British time trial champion Dowsett plans to attempt to break the record in Manchester on December 12

Victor Campenaerts (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Victor Campenaerts, the current Hour Record holder, says he thinks Alex Dowsett has a 50 per cent chance of beating his record next month.

Campernaerts (NTT Pro Cycling) set a record of 55.089km last year at the Aguascalientes Bicentenary Velodrome in Mexico, beating Sir Bradley Wiggins record of 54.526km.

Dowsett has announced he will try to reclaim the prestigious title at the Manchester Velodrome on December 12.

The former Belgian national time trial champion says Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) choosing Manchester maybe prove to be the wrong decision.

"The air pressure makes or breaks an hour record attempt," Campenaerts told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. 

"I am not a climatologist, but in Mexico the air pressure is almost constant every day.

"In Belgium or the United Kingdom, the temperature fluctuates day after day. If he has a breakdown on December 12 and there is high air pressure, I fear it will be an impossible attempt.

“I think he has a 50 per cent chance of breaking the record. I'm glad someone finally dares to do it.”

>>> Alex Dowsett will ride alongside Chris Froome as he extends contact at Israel Start-Up Nation 

Campenaerts recently beat Dowsett in all three time trials at the Giro d'Italia, with Dowsett putting in some disappointing rides against the clock but taking a stage win on the road.

NTT's star time trial rider Campenaerts says that he chatted about the record a lot with Dowsett at the Giro: "In the last Giro d'Italia we were still talking about the Hour Record. I get along well with Alex.

"I like him, but I can't give too many tips either. He is a competitor that can take away my greatest achievement as a cyclist. If he takes my record, I plan another attack in the short term."

Alex Dowsett during the European Time Trial Championships (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The main advantage Dowsett has over the Belgian is that the British rider can choose his own equipment, which is something he has done in TTs in the European and World championships, riding a Specialized bike and wearing a POC helmet instead of his standard team equipment.

Campenaerts says this is a "big advantage" but it won't be easy for Dowsett. Campenaerts says he will be sad to lose it but he will have beaten fairly with the record not being obliterated: "That would be a bit painful [losing to Dowsett], but I honestly don't believe in that. Alex faces a tough challenge. It would be sad for me if it wasn't."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.