Breaking the hour record.

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legs 11
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by legs 11

I think one of the things that puts riders and fans off the hour record thing is the interference by the UCI with regards to equipment.
Back in the day the Hour record bikes were often pretty high tech and used some very open minded thinking when it came to aero positions and hardware development.
The UCI poured cold water on the whole concept when they insisted on the Athletes hour rules and no longer recognised some of the great rides done in the past by Boardman (although he more than made up for it with his last record breaking ride using the new rule format which was simply stunning)
I would also guess that the whole organisation of getting an hour attempt off the ground must take an enormous amount of time and cost, to book track time and do the logistics alone must be a very big job.
I suppose the lack of Kudos bought about by the UCI means the record just isn't worth chasing anymore.
Shame. :(
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Redddraggon
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by Redddraggon

Juanmoretime wrote:It seems like forever that someone has made an attempt on the hour record.


Didn't some 7ft eastern European dude get the record recently?

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xav
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by xav

I think the absolute hour (which you can still go for, but only on a UCI legal pursuit bike, which has to be submitted for checking 2 weeks beforehand!) is far too intimidating for pros to go for now. As for the athletes hour, it might even do the UCI good to make a push for it. Perhaps a cash incentive or special TT jersey for the road?

Xav

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Ant
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by Ant

Sosenka did it in 2005, but seeing as he tested positive for meth recently that may be going away.

rustychain
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by rustychain

despite the fact I lost interest after Obree was robbed twice and generally treated like dirt by the UCI most pro cyclist would be looking at giving up a good amount of paid race time to ride an event that is unsponcered and with a fair chance at failure. That last point is why IMO lance backed out of his planned attempt. He looked at his numbers and was unwilling to take the chance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hour_record
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KB
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by KB

There are two ways of looking at it. Boardman did 56km plus with Superman, but it was patently obvious that he wasn't 7k's better than Merckx.

So, for me, the Athletes Hour is the fairest way to look at it because it then shows what a fantastic ride merckx did in 72. He had a full season winning classics and tours and tagged it on to the end of his season. He did 49.431 (from memory). I have the feeling that if Merckx had prepared properly like Boardman and Sosenka, then he would still have the record. Boardman's ride ended up about 100m more than Merckx. As for Sosenka, he built his season around it.

WHy didn't Lance do it? I don't know. Given his season was empty after the Tour he should have comfortably taken the record had he given it a go.

rustychain
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by rustychain

Do you think Merckx could have done it clean? I suspect most of these records going all the way back were done with "assistance". Perhaps we need a new category for clean riders as well :wink:
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KB
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by KB

Rusty - From 1967 onwards they all had to do a dope test. Anquetil refused to take the test in 67 so his record was never ratified. It was broken not long after by Ferdinand Bracke and in 68 Ole Ritter added to the record.

So, yes, Merckx was tested, but as we know, people have managed to get around tests. At least it was pre EPO days. And Merckx was the greatest rider I've seen by some distance.

Are the pro's still interested. I think maybe not as much. Everyone seems to concentrate on their road programme and the ride itself can be daunting. Boardman died a thousand deaths when he did it. And Merckx's lower region was numb for four days afterwards.

mattr
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by mattr

KB wrote:Are the pro's still interested. I think maybe not as much. Everyone seems to concentrate on their road programme and the ride itself can be daunting. Boardman died a thousand deaths when he did it. And Merckx's lower region was numb for four days afterwards.


and obree was up and at em within 36 (?) hours for another go!!!

KB
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by KB

Obree was a one off. Unlikely to see the like of him again. A maverick if ever there was !

OJ
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by OJ

Hour record is tough. Pros can estimate their performance pretty well nowadays with wind tunnel results and powermeters so they might just look at it and see that they couldn't do it. Well at least not without jacked crit and that is too easy to test when the date of the attempt is well known.
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rustychain
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by rustychain

KB wrote:Rusty - From 1967 onwards they all had to do a dope test. Anquetil refused to take the test in 67 so his record was never ratified. It was broken not long after by Ferdinand Bracke and in 68 Ole Ritter added to the record.

So, yes, Merckx was tested, but as we know, people have managed to get around tests. At least it was pre EPO days. And Merckx was the greatest rider I've seen by some distance.

Are the pro's still interested. I think maybe not as much. Everyone seems to concentrate on their road programme and the ride itself can be daunting. Boardman died a thousand deaths when he did it. And Merckx's lower region was numb for four days afterwards.

Merckx just gives a shy smile when asked if he doped for the hour record. He was reported to be shaking and unable to sleep for days after. Said it almost killed him. Not disin the man but IMO he was on the juice. That said I was not in the know so I guess we can believe whatever makes us feel good. It clear the UCI agree with you and not me as the rules were set to validate Eddy's record.
Obree was robbed. Read Obrees book, UCI /Pat McQ are not my kind of people. The first record I believe was done on a penny farthing, not the sort of bike Merckx rode at all yet is listed with Merckx. Obree rode within the rules was stricken off the books so did it again within the rules only to have his valid endeavour stricken again. Everyone at the time had all the same rules and even greater resources. So whats fair about that. Fact is if you pick up a 1930 track bike or even a 1950 track bike they are not the same as Eddy rode. It was politics that drew an arbitrary line that tells us what the real record is. At least in my opinion :wink:
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KB
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by KB

Rusty - hard to argue with what you say. Times move on and things change.

Ultimately, the record holder is not often the best rider, Sosenka being a case in point. So far as ability goes, the general consensus is that the truly great riders who have taken the record. Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx were the gods of the sport and therefore the pedestal on which others are judged. Perhaps that's why the UCI acted the way they did although I don't defend them in this respect.

In defence of Merckx, compare Boardman's record of 56.3 against a bike similar to Merckx's 49.5 - it certainly puts it into perspective. And those who have not followed the sport for long will look at Boardman's time and then indulge in my pet hate that the modern rider is so much better than before. Boardman's athletes hour proves that they are not. And I doubt Merckx knew his VO max's and had all the modern data and benefits, plus nowhere near the preparation time.

As for the doping, it's entirely subjective. History suggests that most have been juiced in some way except that from the 90's we have had EPO and a much more cynical, insidious and professional approach.

The only relevance of Merckx's record is that he was the greatest rider, but due to technology the results are skewed before and after. From penny farthing to superman it then becomes irrelevant so long as people don't turn round and tell me Boardman or Sosenka must have been better than Merckx.

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djconnel
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by djconnel

legs 11 wrote:I think one of the things that puts riders and fans off the hour record thing is the interference by the UCI with regards to equipment.
Back in the day the Hour record bikes were often pretty high tech and used some very open minded thinking when it came to aero positions and hardware development.

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Danton
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by Danton

It was an important even in the past but it was also a financial tool, those who managed to break the record saw a boost to their career and bank account. The likes of Ritter, Boardman (first time) and Obree used it to attract international attention.

Today it is set so high that attempting to beat is very hard. A lot of question marks shadow the achievement of Sosenka. One thing that is impressive is that the likes of Boardman and Obree were supposed to ride clean yet they put clear distance into several big name clients of Conconi and Ferrari, a truly amazing performance.
Last edited by Danton on Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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