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The first female hour record attempt in many, many years will be free to view by audiences throughout the globe, with the UCI confirming worldwide coverage of Sarah Storey’s ride on its tv.uci.ch site and YouTube channel.
The governing body had already confirmed to CyclingTips that it would show the February 28 bid but clarified that situation in a statement issued today.
“We owe it to cycling fans worldwide to provide live coverage of Dame Sarah Storey’s attempt on the UCI Hour Record,” stated UCI president Brian Cookson. “She is an inspiring paralympic athlete, a valued member of the UCI Para-cycling Commission, and the first woman to go after this record since we modernised the rules in May last year.”
After several years of decreased activity, the hour record has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity since the UCI relaxed the rules in place about the equipment which could be used.
Previously limiting attempts to utilising technology similar to Eddy Merckx’s attempt in 1972, the election of Cookson as president led to a rethink of the regulations and a realisation that many riders and bicycle companies had lost interest in the record.
First of the current wave to go was Jens Voigt, who broke the men’s record on September 18. That mark was then improved on October 30 by Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling). Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) came up short in his own bid at the end of last month, but BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis was successful on Sunday February 8.
He covered a distance of 52.491 kilometres.
Storey’s attempt will take place in the Lee Valley VeloPark Olympic velodrome in London on February 28.
She is aiming to better the 46.065 kilometre distance covered by the Dutchwoman Leontien van Moorsel in Mexico in 2003.
“Our YouTube broadcasts of the last four attempts on the men’s UCI Hour Record proved incredibly popular and we are delighted to enable fans to watch Dame Sarah’s attempt as well,” stated Cookson.
“The live coverage, available exclusively on the UCI YouTube channel, is part of the UCI’s promotion of women’s cycling, and we will also be investing in the television production of her attempt.
“It will be an incredible event and I will be at the Lee Valley Velopark to witness her performance. I can’t wait to cheer her on.”
The broadcast will be free of geo-blocking and thus should be available to be viewed worldwide.