Fabian Cancellara says an attraction of the World Hour Record is the chance to measure yourself against the great riders of the past.
In this video interview from Shimano, the popular Swiss Classics specialist talks about the pressure of attempting to retain his one-day titles (though he doesn't look very pressured, to be honest); the next king of the Classics; and his planned attempt on the title that was once cycling's greatest trophy: the record for most distance covered by a solo rider in an hour.
Cancellara says that the Hour Record puts you on the same level “equipment-wise” as “all the riders that rode the Hour Record”.
“You can go back and [compare yourself with] Merckx, Anquetil, Moser, all those times. That’s something that is special about it.”
That implies that Cancellara is expecting to take a crack at the record under the current 'athlete's record' equipment rules which mandate a bike similar to the one Eddy Merckx rode when he set the record in Mexico City in 1972.
There's been speculation about the exact rules the UCI will impose on Cancellara's record attempt, with some commentators expecting Brian Cookson's regime at the UCI to allow more modern equipment.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.