Little Bleeders founder and British professional cyclist Alex Dowsett will attempt to break the UCI Hour Record for the longest distance covered on a cycling track in 60 minutes on 3rd November 2021.
Dowsett has severe haemophilia A and is the only known elite sportsperson with the condition to compete in an able-bodied field. He takes on the attempt in support of his charity Little Bleeders and The Haemophilia Society. You can support the attempt here.
The attempt will take place on Wednesday, November 3rd, at the Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico when Dowsett will have to cover more than 55.089 km in an hour to beat the current record. Dowsett announced he was taking on the attempt in 2020 but was forced to postpone when he contracted Covid-19.
The 33-year-old rider, who won stage eight of the Giro d’Italia in 2020, broke the UCI Hour Record on May 2, 2015, but lost it 36 days later to Sir Bradley Wiggins. Since then, there have been three more attempts to capture the record, regarded as one of the most gruelling physical endurance challenges in indoor cycling.
Only one, Belgian Victor Campenaerts, succeeded when he landed the title on April 16, 2019, at the same venue where the British rider’s attempt will take place.
Dowsett, who rides for UCI WorldTeam Israel Start-Up Nation, said: “When I took the record in 2015, we rode enough to break the record but I knew I had more in the tank at the end, which was frustrating given the work put in by everyone. Last year’s attempt was derailed when I contracted Covid-19 but the same reasons for wanting to do it are all still there. I want to see what I’m capable of and it’s an event I just really love and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on again.
“In terms of difficulty I know the bar has been set extremely high by Victor. It’s going to be a very big ask but I think I’m capable. The biggest hurdle this time with it being in Mexico will be the altitude. Being at altitude the power output required will be lower than at sea level because of the thin air, but it’s not all plain sailing as the thin air also brings a tougher environment for breathing. We think in the end it should be beneficial rather than detrimental to be at altitude.”
Dowsett has been following a training schedule to prepare him for the rigours of the event, which will be streamed live online around the world. The plan includes spending time in a wind tunnel to test the aerodynamic properties of his hi-tech bike and the skinsuit he will wear on the day.
The Hour Record is able to happen with thanks to support from Pfizer Ltd, Factor Bikes, Israel Start Up Nation, Hammerhead, 4iii, The Independent Pedaler, Endurance Zone and Yellow Jersey.