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Thomas Dekker misses out on UCI Hour record in Mexico

Dutch cyclist gets close to distance Rohan Dennis set earlier this month, but falls just short

Thomas Dekker of the Netherlands failed by just one lap or so in his attempt to beat the UCI Hour record in Aquascalientes, Mexico today.

At the end of his 60-minute ride, his distance was given as 52.250 kilometres, but there was confusion throughout his ride as to the exact distance he had covered. It was later given as 52.221 kilometres.

Although his final distance took some time to be officially confirmed, what was clear, however, is that the rider, without a team after being let go by Garmin Sharp at the end of last seaosn, had failed to beat Rohan Dennis's record of 52.491 kilometres, set in Switzerland earlier this month.

While the attempt - the first to be undertaken at altitude since interest in the Hour was revived last year - was screened live on British Eurosport, the host broadcasters in Mexico provided few clues as to his progress.

That wasn’t helped by a clock in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen that turned out to be running slowly, ticking over 50 seconds in what people commenting on Twitter quickly worked out was in fact 60.

An occasional graphic showing his average speed at the same distance covered as Dennis and Brandle, and at around the halfway point he was just slightly down on the current record holder.

There was also doubt over whether the flipboard-style lap counter at trackside was accurate.

Perhaps mindful of the criticism on Twitter regarding the absence of information, TV producers resorted to camera shots over the shoulder of a woman who was writing, by hand, the progress as each lap passed.

But with Dekker turning over a larger gear than Dennis, who set his record at the same Velodrome Suisse where Jens Voigt last September became the first man to break it after the UCI’s rule change last year, it seemed doubtful that he could beat it as the clock  ticked down.

Attention now turns to the Lee Valley VeloPark in London, where on Saturday afternoon Dame Sarah Storey will become the first rider to attempt the woman’s Hour record since that rule change last year.

The attempt will be streamed live on the UCI’s YouTube channel as Storey looks to overhaul the existing record of 46.065km set 12 years ago by Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel of the Netherlands.

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.

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