Cancellara and Zabriskie eye hour record
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cancellara and Zabriskie eye hour record

by Steve Jones at 1:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

In an interview with Bicisport magazine this month Swiss time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara has said he is interested in making a bid for the hour record. "I think I showed that I am suited for this type of effort in Mendrisio," he said, where he clocked an average speed of 51.58km/h to once again secure the rainbow jersey.

The Swiss rider, along with American David Zabriskie, make two modern era time trial specialists in as many months that have expressed interest in the hour record.

When asked about an hour record attempt back in October Zabriskie told VeloNation, "Yeah, it's crossed my mind. I haven't spent that much time on a track, but I don't think it's that difficult to make a turn. It's not something I'm targeting in the near future, but you never know."

Spainiard Miguel Indurain, Italian Francesco Moser and Brit Chris Boardman all waited until the latter part of their careers to make their attempt.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx refers to his hour record attempt as "the hardest ride I have ever done", setting his record in Mexico City at an altitude of 2,300 meters.

Merckx held the record at 49.431 kilometers for 12 years with his ride in 1972.

The hour record equates to the person who can ride the furthest distance in a velodrome in 60 minutes with the proper officials present. In 2000 the International Cycling Union (UCI) limited the equipment that can be used in an hour attempt, banning aerodynamic helmets, wheels and frames. This split previous records into two types; the UCI Hour Record, which is done on a traditional road bike, and the Best Hour Performance, where aerodynamic equipment can be used.

Czech Ondrej Sosenka set the current record on July 19, 2005 with 49.7 kilometers, besting Chris Boardman's effort by .259 kilometers.

While Zabriskie likely has set an hour attempt on the back burner, according to, there is an effort underway to convince Cancellara to attempt the record in Montichiari, Italy on a new 250-meter wood surfaced velodrome that opened in May. Shorter tracks have had a history of giving bigger riders trouble in record attempts. Indurain is a prime example of a rider that had a difficult time translating his dominance on the road to the track, finding the sharp turns to have an adverse affect on his performance. At 80kg, the Swiss rider could expect to see greater forces acting on his mass in the corners should he make an attempt in Montichiari.

Although unlikely, a true spectacle would be to see the former teammates make their attempts on the same day. At 67kg, Zabriskie is the lighter of the two, and he is also been regarded as one of the most aerodynamic riders in the peloton. The American's position on the bike would certainly help his chances against the sheer power of a rider like Cancellara.


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