Austrian rider Matthias Brändle of the IAM Cycling team has announced he's having a crack at the Hour Record next Thursday October 30 at the velodrome of the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland.
The 24-year-old is the reigning Austrian time trial champion, and won two stages of the 2014 Tour of Britain. He says he was inspired to tackle the record after Jens Voigt's successful record attempt on September 18, when the German set the current record of 51.115km.
Brändle said: "I have decided to try my luck with the record-breaking effort partially because Jens Voigt has been a role model for me since my childhood. His personality and style mark him out as an exceptional man in my mind. He attacks, and then attacks again in any conditions, and fights to exhaustion, knowing that a win in the end remains a small prospect. That mindset has also become my trademark.
"After he made his own successful assault on the Hour, I knew I also had to try and match his effort. Within just a few weeks, I surprised myself since I was dreaming his dream for myself. Just imagine if I have what it takes to match and improve upon his performance in time and meters."
That a second Hour Record attempt is scheduled within a few weeks of Voigt's is something of a victory for the UCI, which amended the record rules in May so that any bike could be used that was within the regulations for track endurance events such as pursuit.
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “I am delighted that a young rider is interested in attacking the Hour Record just weeks after Jens Voigt’s stunning performance. This proves that the Hour Record has again become a dream for athletes.
“This is exactly what we hoped would happen when we decided to authorize the use of track bikes with modern designs and technology.”
Brändle will ride a track version of Scott's new Plasma 5 time trial bike.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.