British professional cyclist Alex Dowsett will attempt to break the hour record, after successfully doing so in 2015 with a distance of 52.937km.
Dowsett, 32, who is training to compete in the 2021 Olympics, has severe haemophilia A and is the only known elite sportsperson with the condition to compete in an able-bodied field. He takes on the attempt in support of his charity Little Bleeders and The Haemophilia Society.
Dowsett will attempt to break the current record, set by Victor Campenaerts, on Saturday 12th December at the Manchester Velodrome. He will have to cover more than 55.089km in an hour to beat the distance set by Campenaerts.
Dowsett, who currently rides for UCI WorldTour Israel Start-Up Nation team, said: “When I took the record in 2015, we rode enough to break the record but I knew I had more in the tank at the end which was frustrating given the work put in by everyone. I spotted an opportunity in December this year to have another go and obviously I want to try and break the record, I want to see what I’m capable of and it’s an event I just really love and feel privileged to have the opportunity to take on again.
When Dowsett originally spoke to Pusher of Pedals about going for the record again back in 2019, he made no secret of wanting the record back, after holding it for 36 days in 2015, bested by a certain B. Wiggins. Dowsett said “I think there’s something in riding a grand tour within a month or 2 prior to an attempt. I came out the tour strong and slow, as in I could do anything for as long as I wanted, but doing anything high intensity would cause some difficulties but that’s fine for an hour record attempt.”
It seems as if Dowsett is doing just that after showing some impressive form at the Giro d’Italia where he won stage eight of the Giro after a fine solo effort.
Since returning to England from the Giro d’Italia, Dowsett has been following a training schedule to prepare him for the rigours of the event, which will be streamed live online around the world. The plan includes spending time in a wind tunnel to test the aerodynamic properties of his
hi-tech bike and the skinsuit he will wear on the day. Dowsett said: “The biggest hurdle to overcome in the hour record is actually wind. Put simply,
the more efficiently you can cut through the air, the easier holding 55km+ per hour will be. The only variable outside of our control is atmospheric pressure so well have our fingers crossed for preferable air pressure come December 12th.”
In 2016, Dowsett created a charity, Little Bleeders, to introduce safe sport and activity to young haemophiliacs with a mission to support and empower families to make good choices that promote physical activity and overall well-being.
Dowsett, who is showcasing that haemophilia doesn’t mean you can’t be an elite level athlete, said: “Often the smaller, rare medical conditions are left
behind and the success that haemophilia has had in the last couple of decades should be celebrated. This is my small way of trying to bring awareness to the haemophilia community, as well as hopefully inspiring a generation of haemophiliacs to reconsider their limitations and what’s possible with what was once a very debilitating condition.”
The Haemophilia Society is celebrating its 70th year of serving the bleeding disorders community and is the only UK-wide charity for everyone affected by a bleeding disorder. Little Bleeders and The Haemophilia Society work collaboratively to best serve the needs of the bleeding disorders community.
Kate Burt, chief executive, The Haemophilia Society said: “We are proud to be partnering with Little Bleeders in this exciting and challenging record attempt which will showcase the quality of life you can enjoy with haemophilia and inspire our community. The Society and the community we support, wish Alex the best of luck.”