Alex Dowsett Hour Record: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

alex dowsett, alex dowsett giro d'italia

Alex Dowsett atop the podium at the 2013 Giro d’Italia (Getty)

Alex Dowsett will tackle cycling’s Hour Record this Saturday at the Manchester Velodrome. Dowsett is bidding to become the first Briton to break the iconic record since Chris Boardman achieved the feat in 2000.

Here’s everything you need to know about Dowsett’s attempt:


1. Where and When Will Dowsett Take on the Hour?

chris boardman, hour record chris boardman

Chris Boardman breaking the Hour Record at Manchester Velodrome back in 2000 (Getty)

Dowsett will tackle The Hour at the National Cycling Center (more commonly known as the Manchester Velodrome), home of British Cycling, host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games and three-time Track Cycling World Championships venue. His attempt is due to start at 1pm BST on Saturday, May 2nd.

Manchester is no stranger to Hour attempts, and Dowsett will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Chris Boardman, who twice broke the record on the velodrome’s boards.


2. What’s The Current Record, And Who Holds it?

rohan dennis hour record

Rohan Dennis (Getty)

Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC) is the current record-holder, setting a distance of 52.491 kilometers in February 2015 at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen. Dennis’ was the latest in a slew of attempts following the UCI’s rule change, with Jens Voigt, Matthias Brändle and Jack Bobridge all having attempted the record in the last six months, and Briton Alex Dowsett set to tackle the mark in May.

While Dennis holds the record under the new UCI rules, the greatest distance ever covered in the hour was set by Chris Boardman, who traveled 56.375 kilometers in 1996 utilizing the “Superman” position pioneered by Hour Record rival Graeme Obree. That feat is no longer recognised by the UCI as the official record, instead being referred to as the “Best Human Effort”.


3. What Bike Will Dowsett be Riding?

The @canyon_bikes Speedmax WHR getting ready for an intense morning of tests.

A post shared by Movistar Team (@movistar_team) on

Dowsett will ride a track-modified version of his Canyon Speedmax CF TT bike, which is the steed of choice for his Movistar pro team (or rather, the bike they’re paid to ride). Dowsett will equip the bike with Campagnolo disc wheels front and back, and a Power2Max crank-based power meter to keep track of his wattage.

There’s no word as yet on what gearing Dowsett will use.


4. How far can Dowsett go?

alex dowsett commonwealth gold

Dowsett with his 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal (Getty)

Dowsett was scheduled to take on the hour earlier in the year, but a broken collar bone in January derailed his original plans. The 26-year-old hasn’t given much away on his planned pacing or goals, but says he’s in good enough shape to “give it a pretty good tilt.”

Dowsett’s palmares certainly suggests he has the capacity to break the distance set by Dennis earlier this year. He won the European Time Trial Championships in 2010, the British National Time Trial championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013, won the Individual Time Trial at the 2013 Giro d’Italia and won Gold in the ITT at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Dowsett, who suffers from Hemophilia, hopes his attempt on the Hour will inspire others who suffer from the condition to “try something new and get active.”


5. How can I Watch?

If you can get to Manchester in person, tickets are still available for purchase. Otherwise, you can catch Dowsett’s record attempt on British Eurosport 2 / Eurosport 2 from 12:45pm BST /1:45pm CET on Saturday May 2nd, or online via the Eurosport Player.

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