The hour record had already been broken three times in the past 10 months, with only one rider having fallen short in his attempt.
Dowsett and Team Movistar studied the prior races and developed a plan for Dowsett to race slightly slower than Dennis, allowing the Brit to keep enough in reserve for the final 10 minutes. Dowsett was behind Dennis’ record pace for the first 50 minutes of the ride, giving up nine seconds to the Australian at one point.
Dowsett has hemophilia and is hoping to inspire young people who also suffer from the condition that it needn’t take over their lives.
He first dreamed of setting the hour record, dominated by the British duo of Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman in the 1990s, when he started competitive cycling over a decade ago.
Dowsett was originally scheduled to attempt the record on February 27 of this year but he crashed while training on the road and broke his collarbone. After surgery he was back in training within a matter of weeks.
Dennis, 24, is an Australian racing for the BMC Racing Team. He set his record at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen on February 8. Before him, fellow Aussie Jack Bobridge, 25,went out too quickly and failed in his attempt on January 31.
Matthias Brändle, a 25-year-old Australian, had pushed the record to 51.852 kilometers on October 30, 2014, just six weeks earlier the venerable 43-year-old Jens Voigt had set the mark of 51.115 km in his last professional outing.
Ondřej Sosenka, a Czech professional cyclist, had held the UCI hour record for nine years with a distance of 49.700km.
Sir Bradley Wiggins is next up with his record attempt scheduled for June 7 in London. He is training at a 54 km pace.
Voigt was a very successful and cagey pro at the end of his illustrious career. How did three riders in their early 20s each best his time and successively break his new record?
Partly, it was their youth. But, primarily, each benefited from a personalized training plan designed to peak for the hour attempt, coupled with a very precise race strategy.
In his new 32-page eArticle Your Best Season Ever, Part 1: How to plan and get the most out of your training, Coach John Hughes walks you through each step to develop your own specific, personalized plan – and how to implement your plan by training effectively. The article is available for only $4.99 ($4.24 for Premium Members after their 15% discount).
One of Coach Hughes’ clients, the amazing Elizabeth Wicks, on Saturday set her own record. Racing at Calvin’s Challenge, she achieved a personal best of 182 miles, in 12 hours — at age 71!
She also broke her 70-74 age group record of 157 miles set in a very windy race last year. Coach Hughes will have an interview with Wicks in next week’s Newsletter.
She’s proof to all of us, though, that specific, personalized training – at any age – can help you achieve your specific goals, whatever they may be.
Extolling the Virtues of Maple Syrup
You’d expect that this would come from a Canadian! After all, the Maple leaf is their national symbol.
RBR Premium Member Claude Leger sent us the following, which I’m happy to run as a nice change of pace from the typical cycling nutrition. Here’s what Claude wrote:
“Lately, I have decided to reduce my consumption of industrialized edible products aimed at cyclists by making my own energy bars, gels and drinks. The taste is much better, and it is obviously better for your health. By the same token, you are reducing, to some degree, your waste, i.e. less packaging.
“I would like to share with my fellow roadies a site that promotes maple syrup as an ingredient for goodies for athletes, including cyclists. As you may know, maple syrup has been praised for its unique flavor.
“The site, http://ilovemaple.ca/sport/maple-athletes, provides a number of recipes using maple syrup as a sweetener for goodies before, during and after a ride. I tried the energy drink recipe when I skied and did spinning workouts this winter.”
Update on Reader Mike Faibisch’s Fast America Ride
RBR reader Mike Faibisch checked in from the road with an update on his cross-country ride in support of MS.
You may recall that Mike, who lives in Har Adar, Israel, told us about his goal back in January when our readers shared their array of goals for 2015. Mike has overcome MS himself. He’s been “relapse free” for a number of years and has done a number of “big rides” since.
As he wrote us back in January, “Somewhere along the way, I began dreaming about riding the U.S. from coast to coast. For 2015, after being free of MS relapses now for over 10 years, gradually increasing my cycling abilities to ride long and challenging touring events, and receiving an updated classification for my MS as being “benign,” that dream has turned into a more concrete goal.
“Hence my goal for 2015 is to ride the Fast-USA coast-to-coast trip from Costa Mesa, California, to Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 33 days, this coming spring.”
Mike’s Dispatch From the Great Plains
“We have now completed roughly 1/3 of my Fast America trip, and have already passed through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Today we are in Liberal, Kansas, and will be in Kansas for the next several days. This has been such an unbelievable and eye-opening experience!
“I have been maintaining a blog after riding each day, not always an easy endeavor after riding for 8 to 10 hours. In any event, I invite you to check out my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MikesMSChallenge.
“It would be great if you could also like my page, and share with others to help support my modest efforts at trying to raise awareness for the crucial importance of obtaining early diagnosis of MS, if suspected, starting early treatment without delay and adopting a healthy lifestyle, using my own experience of the past 10 years as an example.
“This has worked for me, and I hope that it can also help others, whether by providing an example or encouragement to people who already have MS — particularly those in the early stages of their illness.”
Poll Results for What to Carry, Cassette Size
I’m always interested to see how my approach to all things cycling meshes with how my fellow roadies, and readers, handle things.
So our polls of the past few weeks, on what riders carry on their rides, and what their regular cassette size is, both were intriguing to me. And based on the nearly equal, and pretty high, vote counts both weeks, they were equally intriguing to you!
Here’s a snapshot of the answers that drew the most votes:
What’s Your Everyday Cassette?
11-28T – 31%
11-32T – 13%
12-28T – 11%
12-25T – 11%
Take a look at that. Fully 55% of us ride with at least a 28 all the time!
What Are the Basics You Carry on a Ride?
25% — 1 tube, 1 or 2 tire levers, a pump or CO2, tire boot and/or patch kit, multitool, phone and/or ID, money
18% — 1 tube, 1 or 2 tire levers, a pump or CO2, tire boot and/or patch kit, multitool, phone and/or ID, money, and more
17% — 2 tubes, 1 or 2 tire levers, a pump or CO2, tire boot and/or patch kit, multitool, phone and/or ID, money, and more
15% — 2 tubes, 1 or 2 tire levers, a pump or CO2, tire boot and/or patch kit, multitool, phone and/or ID, money
These four choices encapsulate 75% of the votes, so this pretty well sums up what most of us tote along when we hit the road.
Combined with the cassette votes, I’d say we’re a fairly sensible lot! (I’m right there with you, on my 11-28, and in the 17% group in the carry-along vote.)
John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.