Jack Bobridge has missed out on breaking the UCI Hour record and the Australian has one word of advice for other riders thinking about attempting it – “don’t.”
The Australian, world record holder in the 4,000 metres individual pursuit, was the first track specialist to attempt the record since the UCI’s rule change last year to permit modern track bikes and equipment.
He was attempting to break the distance of 51.852km that Matthias Brändle set last October, eclipsing the record of 51.115 kilometres posted the previous month by Jens Voigt.
In the opening 10 minutes or so the 25-year-oldwas on course to comfortably smash Brändle’s record as he went out quickly – too quickly, it turned out, and he would pay the price later on.
At the halfway point he had covered 104 of the 208 laps he needed to take the record, but he would eventually fall three laps short with a distance of 51.3 kilometres despite digging deep late on.
The Budget Forklifts rider was entirely spent after his ride, which took place at the DISC Velodrome in Melbourne on the final day of the Australian national track championships, and vomited several times afterwards.
"This is the closest to death I will ever be, I think, without dying," he said afterwards.
On 8 February another Australian track specialist, Rohan Dennis, will attempt the Hour record in Switzerland.
Dennis won a stage and the overall at the Santos Tour Down Under earlier this month, while Bobridge also took a stage and ended the race with the mountains jersey.
A week tomorrow, we’ll find out whether the extra week of recovery and preparation built into Dennis’s schedule proves decisive.
But the fact an in-form Bobridge, a multiple world and Commonwealth champion on the track, missed out on the record however emphasises just how tough it is.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.