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Making official the date he will attempt to break the UCI world hour record, Thomas Dekker has outlined his plans and confirmed that he will attack the mark later this month.
Dekker previously indicated his ambition to set a new world’s best and has now picked February 25 as the date for his attempt. He will made his effort at high altitude in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where he hopes that the thinner air will enable him to break whatever distance is in place at the time.
The hour record is currently held by the Austrian Matthias Brandle, who covered 51.852 kilometres at the UCI track in Aigle, Switzerland on October 30.
Australian rider Jack Bobridge tried to surpass that mark on last Saturday but failed, starting too quickly and fading before the end. He covered 51.3 kilometres.
Fellow Australian Rohan Dennis will make his own attempt in Switzerland on Sunday. Once that effort has been done Dekker will know what he needs to achieve in order to be the new holder.
“It feels like an honour to take part in a historical event like the UCI Hour Record,” said Dekker. “I also know it’s a brutal event and that you need to face it with respect. Great riders tried to break it in the past and some succeed and some not.
“Matthias Brandle set a fantastic record and he is the man to beat on this moment. But my teammate from last year Rohan Dennis is in his best form ever and a great rider. I’m curious to see what he can achieve on Sunday.”
Dekker’s effort will be carried out 1800 metres above sea level. He previously told CyclingTips that he believed the beneficial effects of high altitude were necessary for him to stand a chance against riders like Dennis.
A relaxation of UCI rules about the types of bikes which can be used have led to a flurry of activity in relation to the hour. UCI President Brian Cookson knows the possibility of using more modern-style bikes has caused the resurgence of interest.
“The start of the year is busy with several UCI Hour Record attempts, showing that this legendary event has regained its appeal since we’ve changed the rules last year,” he stated. “I am pleased to see that riders are taking on the mark beyond Europe, in territories such as Oceania and the Americas where our sport enjoys a growing popularity.
“Jack Bobridge’s attempt demonstrated that the UCI Hour Record is not an easy one to achieve. Let’s see what the riders are capable of.”