Popular German Jens Voigt intends to make an attempt at breaking the world hour record.
By
AFP

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 5:58 PM

The 42 year old announced ahead of last month's USA Pro Cycling Challenge that it would be his last race, however he has decided that he has one last challenge to tackle, the hour record.

"It's a huge challenge for me, both physical and mental," said Voigt.

"This is a huge project and probably it's going to come as a surprise for many people. Everybody knows that Fabian (Cancellara) was working on it together with Trek, so when he decided to re-assess his plans because of the rule change (to allow pursuit-style bikes) it sparked my interest.

"We have been doing some discrete tests in the velodrome in Roubaix prior to the Dauphine and we believe that I have a fair chance."

Voigt's attempt will come on 18 September at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen. And there's a strong possibility the race will be live streamed on the web, though details are yet to be finalised.

Czech Ondrej Sosenka, who had a nondescript cycling career and was twice banned for doping violations, currently holds the record.

He set a distance of 49.7km in Moscow in 2005.

In 2001 he was excluded from the Peace Race after failing a hemetocrit test while his career ended in 2008 after he tested positive for the banned stimulant methamphetamine during the Czech national time trial championships.

Other than breaking the world hour record, his best results were the modest accomplishments of winning the 2002 Peace Race and 2006 Czech national time trial championships.

Prior to Sosenka, the record was held by British Olympic champion Chris Boardman with 49.441km.

Those records, though, were on bicycles that had to closely resemble the one used by Belgian great Eddy Merckx for his record in 1972.

But now the UCI is allowing records using current track cycling pursuit bikes.

"I'm delighted that one of the most popular riders of the modern era, Jens Voigt, is going to make an attempt on this, the most iconic of all the UCI's records," said UCI president Brian Cookson.

"It is exactly what we hoped would happen when we changed the rules earlier this year to allow the use of modern track bike design and technology.

"And, like Jens, I too am hoping that this will be the beginning of a new wave of interest in 'The Magic Hour', as it was known in a previous golden era of our sport."