World TT champ Tony Martin to go for Hour record?

German rider joins Cancellara & Wiggins in possible record attempt

by Simon_MacMichael   November 23, 2013  

Vuelta 2013 S11 ITT Tony Martin ( © Unipublic:Graham Watson)

Next year could see a vintage battle on the track with Tony Martin throwing his hat into the ring for a potential crack at the Hour record – something that Fabian Cancellara and Sir Bradley Wiggins have also expressed an interest in tackling.

Speaking to the German newspaper Thüringer Allgemeine, Martin, who won the world time trial championship for the third time in Florence in September, said the prospect of going for the record attracted him, although other priorities must come first.

“First, I’m concentrating on the world championship time trial, then the Olympic Games in Rio where the course should suit me,” he explained.

“I also know that my rivals Fabian Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins want to attempt the Hour record. It’s an ambition that is in the back of my head – the prospect of being the fastest man in the world motivates me.”

Last week, it was confirmed that Cancellara is aiming for the Hour record next year, possibly following the Spring Classics, and with Manchester a potential venue.

Wiggins – who beat Martin to the Olympic time trial title last year, and is also a multiple world and Olympic champion in the individual pursuit, giving him a track pedigree the others lack – has also expressed and interest in aiming for it, possibly in London.

An exploit that at various times inspired riders of the stature of Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx to attempt it and set new records, the Hour has lost some of its shine in the past couple of decades.

During the 1990s, riders including Francesco Moser, Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman – all of whom held the record at some point – pushed the boundaries of what was possible in terms of bike design and the position they took on the bike.

In 1996, Boardman set a new record distance of 56.375km using the “Superman” position that Obree had pioneered, with the UCI subsequently deciding to amend the record’s rules to outlaw aerodynamic bike designs and rider positions.

The distance of 49.431km set by Eddy Merckx in 1972 was reinstated as the official UCI Hour Record, and was eventually bettered by Boardman, using a traditional track bike, who went just 10 metres further in the allotted 60 minutes in Manchester in 2000.

That record was beaten by the Czech rider, Ondřej Sosenka, who rode 49.7km in Moscow in 2005, which still stands as the official Hour record.

As for next year’s Tour de France, Martin chose not to identify individual goals other than the time trial – he won the first of those in this year’s race, at Mont St-Michel.

Instead, he outlined the role he could play for his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in “protecting Michal Kwiatkowski and Rigoberto Uran,” as well as “helping Mark Cavendish win as many stages as possible.”

Martin, who has won France’s second most prestigious stage race, Paris-Nice, added: “Due to its difficulty, the Tour de France is beyond me. I’m fully aware of that. Above all, I’m a team player.”

9 user comments

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The current top 3 TT riders all wanting to battle it out for the hour should make for interesting watching!

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [130 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 18:05

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Manchester, Glasgow and Olympic Park. Same date and time. Massive screens at each venue showing the other two simultaneously.
Come on 'cycling money men' Make it happen.

posted by Jasonahewitt [14 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 18:41

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That would be immense!

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [130 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 18:49

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The hour record is alive and well again, great!


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [899 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 20:39

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Lets get all three at manchester home of british cycling all on same day get it on tv and make it a big box office sponsors etc


posted by graham2212 [1 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 21:36

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I love the hour record. It's a bit like buses. None for ages then three turn up.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [255 posts]
24th November 2013 - 9:26

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Tony Martin has already had a crack at the record 4 times in 2013 - it's just that all 4 attempts were during a single stage of the Vuelta!

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [115 posts]
24th November 2013 - 22:02

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All three men are capable of beating it but from the worlds last year you have to say Martin would set the best time. Would be great to watch. Make it happen.

posted by Will Steed [44 posts]
25th November 2013 - 15:28

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I don't think they would all go for on the exact same day and time but that would be cool

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
25th November 2013 - 16:25

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