Alex Dowsett falls short in Hour Record attempt

Dowsett was off the pace from the 10-minute mark and drifted from there.

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Alex Dowsett has fallen short in his attempt to set a new UCI Hour Record, covering 54.555 km at the Aguascalientes Bicentenary Velodrome in Mexico. Dowsett’s effort was 534 metres shorter than Victor Campenaerts’ world record of 55.089 km, set on the same velodrome in April 2019.

Riding a massive 61 x 13 gear, Dowsett was ahead of schedule for much of the opening 10 minutes but slowly started to lose time to Campenaerts from then on. At 20 minutes he was three seconds down, by halfway he was four seconds down, and by 40 minutes he was seven seconds behind Campenearts’ record pace.

Dowsett’s 54.555 km was 1.618 km further than the 52.937 km he rode in May 2015 to take the world record from Rohan Dennis. Dowsett only held that record for roughly a month before Bradley Wiggins went more than 1,500 metres further again. That mark of 54.526 km stood until Campenaerts’ record ride almost four years later.

Dowsett’s effort also left him just short of the British record of 54.723 km, set by Dan Bigham just over a month ago. A day earlier Joss Lowden set the current women’s Hour Record by riding 48.405 km.

“I just want to take the opportunity to say another well done to Victor and to Dan Bigham because there was a British and a world record up for grabs today and I was a bit shy of both of them,” Dowsett said afterwards. “Hats off to both of them – they’re both incredible athletes.

“[I wanted] to see how far I could go and 54.555 is as far as I can go. We chucked everything at this.”

Dowsett was making his second attempt at the Hour Record partially in order to raise awareness for the Little Bleeders Foundation and the Haemophilia Society – organisations that support those with haemophilia, a condition that Dowsett himself lives with.

The overriding message for young haemophiliacs now, anyone with haemophilia, anyone with a rare condition, anyone who’s facing any kind of adversity, is just give it a shot because the biggest failure today would have been to not be here,” Dowsett said. “I spent a childhood of being told what I couldn’t do. My mum, my dad – we knew what we couldn’t do: football, rugby, boxing. So we set about finding what we could do. We turned a negative into an absolute positive. And I’ve been able to carve a massive career out of adversity.

“And that should be the message – life can throw you a bad hand at times and it’s how you deal with it.”

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