MILAN (VN) — An hour record attempt could happen in the next six months, as early as late April. Both Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) and Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) are considering the challenge this week at their team training camps.
“You can’t just say one day, ‘I’m going to do the record.’ You have to plan it for weeks or maybe for months. You have to find the moment in the year. What is the best moment in the year? I don’t know,” Omega Pharma general manager Patrick Lefevere told VeloNews.
“If [Martin] wants to try, I think the Bakala’s sports research academy in Leuven [Belgium] can help him. We have all the tools there to help him to get [the record].”
The record stands at 49.700 kilometers. In 2005, Ondřej Sosenka broke Chris Boardman’s 49.441km mark from 2000. No other professional cyclist has attempted to break it since.
In the record’s golden days, stars including Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, and Eddy Merckx set new marks. As time passed, equipment improved. Cycling’s governing body intervened in 2000. It banned extreme bikes and positions and rolled by back the mark to Merckx’s 1972 49.431km distance. By doing so, it dismissed records set by Francesco Moser, Graeme Obree, Miguel Indurain, Tony Rominger. and Boardman in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, only Boardman and Sosenka have upped the record.
Luca Guercilena, general manager of RadioShack (to be called Trek Factory Racing in 2014), said last month that Cancellara wants to establish a new record.
“It’s good for cycling to have a big name going for the record,” Guercilena said. “It’d be good to get stars going for the record again, above all for someone like Cancellara who’s gone well against the clock for the last 10 years. It’s only right to put it on the program.”
Cancellara won the world time trial title four times and the Olympic title in 2008. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Cancellara will go to the Valencia’s Luis Puig velodrome Friday, at the conclusion of a Trek training camp in nearby Benidorm, Spain. It reported that he will test road and hour record equipment.
Guercilena told VeloNews that they would decide this month if Cancellara will attempt the record in 2014. They will likely schedule it after the classics in late April or after a grand tour.
Martin, the three-time defending world time trial champion, said that talk of attempts by time trial rivals Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cancellara encourages him.
“I also have it in mind,” Martin told Germany’s Thüringer Allgemeine last month. “Being the fastest man in the world would be a nice title to have.”
Lefevere, however, called the hour record “boring” and warned it may struggle to re-establish its place in today’s cycling calendar.
“Some races that were popular in the 1980s are not popular anymore, like Bordeaux-Paris,” Lefevere added. “The record is not the most exciting thing to watch. It’s boring.”