Alex Dowsett dials in final details for hour record attempt

Dowsett pins down equipment selections and pacing strategies ahead of official hour record attempt Wednesday.

Photo: MC Digital

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Alex Dowsett is dialing in his tech and adapting to thin air as he makes the final preparations for his hour record attempt.

Dowsett, 33, will be diving into the hurt zone at the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico next week as he looks to better the current world hour record of 55.089km, set by Victor Campenaerts in 2019.

“I’m feeling good … I shouldn’t be feeling super in these first few days, I should be feeling super in a week’s time once I’m over the travel and have thrown in a taper,” Dowsett said. “I’m in a good place.”

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Dowsett is already in Mexico along with his support team and family as he pins down the details for his official effort Wednesday.

Dowsett is no newcomer to the hour record after briefly holding the best distance in 2015 before being ousted by Bradley Wiggins in a flurry of record attempts that year. After setting his previous record at sea level in Manchester, UK, Dowsett is braced for an altogether different experience in the 1,900-meter elevation air of the Mexico track.

“It’s quite a different beast coming to altitude to do an hour record, because the requirements are so different and you’ve got to travel the same speed, but actually the difference at that speed compared with sea level is quite significant,” Dowsett said.

“We calculated that in terms of moving the air around you it’s the equivalent of riding 43 kilometers in an hour at sea level, however with that comes the distinct lack of oxygen up here.”

As a hemophiliac, Dowsett is using his effort Wednesday to raise awareness of his charity, Little Bleeders, and the work of the Haemophilia Society. As such, he has organized the event independent of his Israel Start-Up Nation team and has sourced his own equipment.

“We’ve done some four-minute runs and we’ve been doing some testing. I’m fortunate to have a set of Campagnolo Ghiblis and a set of HEDs at my disposal and it’s looking like we’ll go with the HEDs. Today we’re testing tire pressures, so far it isn’t showing anything out of the ordinary which is good and we’ll start knocking in some longer runs,” Dowsett said.

“The problem so far has been going slow enough. But then it’s easy to get carried away,  especially when it’s only four minutes.”

The recent resurgence in interest in the hour record has seen Joss Lowden set a new woman’s best distance of 48.405km earlier this autumn, while Dan Bigham set a new British record of 54.526km just one day later.

Time trial world champion and track supremo Filippo Ganna is also said to be eyeing his own record attempt sometime next year.

Dowsett will be streaming live coverage of the ride on his YouTube channel Wednesday, kick-starting at 10pm UK / 11pm CET. It will also be broadcast on the BBC iPlayer and website in the UK.

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