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Although considerable doubt was raised about Alex Dowsett’s prospects of going for the world hour record on February 27 due to his crash this week and resulting broken collarbone, the Briton has said that he will still aim for the original date.
Dowsett fell while training on Tuesday and suffered the injury, necessitating an operation to pin the fracture. He and his Movistar team issued a video Friday which updated his situation and included the pledge to keep trying for the original schedule.
“Surgery yesterday went extremely well. I should be out of hospital today or tomorrow,” he said in the video, which can be viewed below. “The haemophilia usually keeps me in a day or two longer than normal, but it looks like they will be sending me home quite soon.”
Dowsett has suffered from haemophilia during his life and indeed said in December that inspiring others with the blood disorder was his primary motivation in attacking the record, one of the hardest tests in cycling.
He referred to that in a separate interview with Sky Sports. “It will be a battle to do the hour attempt. I have faced battles my whole life with the haemophilia and now I face another challenge,” he said, before thanking those who had sent the messages of support.
The first to attack and break the hour under the current flurry of activity was Jens Voigt, who covered 51.115 kilometres on September 19 in Grenchen, Switzerland.
Next up was the Austrian rider Matthias Brandle, who improved the mark to 51.850 kilometres on October 30 in the UCI’s World Cycling Centre in Aigle.
At least two riders are scheduled to attack Brandle’s mark before Dowsett’s bid. Jack Bobridge will try in Melbourne’s DISC velodrome on January 31, while fellow Australian Rohan Dennis will make his attempt in Grenchen, Switzerland on February 8.
Thomas Dekker has said he will also aim for the mark in February, but it is as yet unclear whether or not his bid will be before or after February 27.
Although Dowsett’s training has been affected and getting into a tuck position with the injury will likely be both painful and difficult, he said that at this point in time the intention is to try to keep on schedule. He has one month and eleven days to be in top shape and will try to achieve that.
“We are trying as hard as we can to make The Perfect Hour [the title of the bid] on the 27th of February still work.
“We might have to call it the Almost Perfect Hour because of this here. The team, Movistar, Canyon, Endura, Campagnolo and myself will be doing everything we can to make it still happen.”
He admitted that there was a chance a change in plan might yet happen, but hoped this won’t be the case.
“Obviously if this doesn’t recover as well as it should then we will postpone it. But it is a case of never say never.”