Cancellara ‘lost motivation’ for hour record

  • By Gregor Brown
  • Published Feb. 13, 2015
  • Updated Apr. 7, 2015 at 1:50 PM EDT
Fabian Cancellara says the hour record has lost its allure for him. He'll prioritize other goals this season. Photo: Gregor Brown |

DOHA, Qatar (VN) — Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) “lost motivation” to attempt the hour record with the new rules and other targets on the horizon

“The rules changed, and I lost the motivation, let’s be honest,” Cancellara told VeloNews.

“When Bradley will do it and set a record, it’s going to be hard for someone to do it and catch that. His ability on the track is like no one else. He’s fluid.”

The 33-year-old would not rule out an attempt on the hour record, currently set at 52.491 kilometers by Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), but would not put it on his schedule.

Englishman Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), who holds two individual pursuit gold medals from the Olympics, and worlds and Olympic time trial titles, will attempt to break the record in early June. Dutchman Thomas Dekker will try beforehand in Mexico.

Wiggins would not confirm the date of his attempt, but said the London Olympic Lee Valley Velodrome has been booked for the day.

Cancellara agreed that it would be hard for him to top Wiggins’s potential distance given he does not have a track background. If he tries to set a mark before Wiggins’ ride, he would have available a six-week window, after his classics campaign that will end on April 12 in Roubaix’s velodrome.

Mounting a pursuit bike and racing for one hour on the track, appears unlikely based on Cancellara’s comments.

“I don’t think at the moment, honestly,” Cancellara continued.

“I’m not working on it. I cannot say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but I can tell you I’m concentrated on other goals.”

‘Spartacus’ finished the Tour of Qatar on Friday as part of preparation for the spring classics on the immediate horizon. He wants to win one of the monuments: Milano-Sanremo, March 22; the Ronde van Vlaanderen, April 5; or Paris-Roubaix, April 12.

If he wins the Ronde, he would become the first cyclist to do so four times in its 98-year history. Cancellara sits with five others at three wins, including Belgian rival Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step).

Cancellara could tackle the hour record in the window after Paris-Roubaix. He also could try after Wiggins, but he appears willing to leave the task to his younger colleagues.

“Taylor Phinney [BMC], Tony Martin [Etixx-Quick-Step], Tom Dumoulin [Giant-Alpecin] can do it,” he said.

“Wiggins will make a high mark, but the technology will advance and bikes will be faster and more aerodynamic. It’s performance, but also technology.”

The UCI changed the rules in May 2014 that had required cyclists to attempt the hour on a standard frames and opened it up to pursuit style bikes. Jens Voigt (Trek), Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts), and Dennis attempted the record afterward.

Cancellara, who had a bike and equipment ready to go beforehand from Trek, criticized the rule change. He explained the UCI should have kept track of two distances, one on standard equipment and another that takes into account the records since 1972 by Francesco Moser, Chris Boardman, and others.

“I don’t know, it’s just chaos now,” Cancellara said. “I think the hour record still would have been dead without me starting my planning. I’m 100 percent sure. There wouldn’t have been a rule change, and no one would’ve tried it. I started it, but came out on bottom.”

FILED UNDER: News / Track TAGS: /

Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown

Bikes kept Gregor Brown out of trouble growing up in Oklahoma — BMX, freestyle and then watching Greg LeMond's Tour de France wins on CBS television's weekend highlights shows. The drama of the 1998 Tour, however, truly drew him into the fold. With a growing curiosity in European races and lifestyle, he followed his heart and established camp on Lake Como's shores in 2004. Brown has been following the Giro, the Tour and every major race in Europe since 2006. He will tell you it is about the "race within the race" – punching out the news and running to finish – but he loves a proper dinner, un piatto tipico ed un vino della zona.

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