By Rick Schultz
Analysis of Alex Dowsett 11/03/2021 Hour Record attempt. Alex fell short of Victor Campenaerts’ hour record by 534 meters (1,752 ft). Alex rode 54.555 km (33.8989 miles) in one hour while Victor (setting the world record in April of 2019) rode 55.089 km (34.2307 miles) in one hour.
Let’s analyze the rides and determine how important is a bike fit?
I will give both of these two cycling stars credit for this very difficult event. But here is my analysis of why Alex fell short of the record attempt.
From a Bike Fit point of view comparing Victor Campenaerts (VC), Alex Dowsett (AD)
VC: Looked stable, looked very comfortable, upper body never moved, drove whole hour through the legs
AD: Looked unstable as if he couldn’t get comfortable, stood up to get momentum back (non-aero)
VC: Never moved / was planted on the saddle / no loss of power or momentum scooting around on saddle
AD: (Especially last 20 minutes), wasted power – slid forward then scooted back in the saddle about every 3 or so pedal strokes
Post Ride Analysis:
VC: Got off the bike himself, walked over to chair to sit down, looked tired but not completely fatigued.
- Maybe was in a little better shape than AD? Record ride was in April – coming into top form for season
- Looked to have his bike fit dialed in.
- No wasted power, all power went into the legs
- Smooth even power & speed throughout entire hour
AD: Needed help getting off the bike, ready to collapse, looked completely exhausted could barely walk.
- How was his conditioning? – Attempt in November – past end of season, decreased form?
- Looked like bike fit not dialed in
- A lot of wasted energy, power spikes and wasted momentum moving around on saddle
- Didn’t seem to be as even power, especially toward end of attempt.
Unknowns: CdA (Coefficient of Aerodynamic drag) of bikes and riders and riders on bikes.
As a coach and bike fitter sitting in my La-Z-Boy chair watching Alex ride for an hour, that’s my take on what I saw.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.