Despite his assertion that he was never much interested in the history of cycling, Alex Dowsett wrote his own page in the Big Book of Cycling History today with his emphatic taking of the UCI Hour Record. Riding a race which went perfectly to plan, Dowsett set a new mark of 52.937km to join a select list of riders much shorter than that of "mere" Tour de France winners.
The early part of the ride strategy was to keep Rohan Dennis's distance within grasp and Dowsett was lapping at a schedule hovering just short of the existing record by seven or eight seconds. With 20 minutes to go, the taps were opened. With plenty left in the tank, the gap started to close and in the end Dennis's record was left nearly two laps behind.
Afterwards Dowsett admitted that he was not overly happy with the map his coaches had set out as he didn't like having to change pace, but his team were proved right and he gave big thanks to his coach Steve Collins. Earlier in the week, he had expressed a wish for low pressure which would help him, but with the record in the bag it's not likely that he'll be worrying too much that tomorrow's weather might have given him an even more perfect hour and a chance to crack the 53km mark.
With the bar raised another notch, the pressure is now on Sir Bradley Wiggins on June 7th. Alex's ride shouldn't be dismissed as a little "amuse bouche" whilst we await the main course and he finished looking fresh enough to believe that, if necessary, he could go further yet. 2015 is going to be an interesting year on the track.
Dowsett dedicated his success to raising awareness of haemophilia and especially his children’s charity, Little Bleeders.