|Between 1993 and 1996, the Hour Record was very special and quite an honor to hold. The big names in cycling were all throwing their hats into the ring. Boardman, Indurain, Obree, Rominger, etc. It was awesome. When the UCI nullified all of those records by returning to the Merckx set-up, I think it lost its luster due to the fact there was no longer any exciting technological advancements to be made. True, it is a record that proves how strong the athlete is but it also represents the perfect melding of man and machine. Remember how much publicity Boardman, and cycling in general, received from the Lotus he used in the '92 Olympics? People that didn't follow the sport were suddenly mesmerized.
Now that it appears the UCI is going to relax some of the rules, it's possible we could see renewed interest in the Hour Record. Personally, I'd like to see some elements of the funky TT-rigs of the mid-90's come back. With manufacturers using pro cycling as a test-bed for new designs, it's a win for the consumer. Why do you think Ferrari and McLaren throw so much money into F1? Sure, much of it is advertising and bragging rights, but it's also for testing new concepts that will trickle down into production vehicles.