The hype is building and if it all goes to plan Jens Voigt will be the new holder of the world hour record on Friday morning.
By
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

After a long career which includes 17 Tours de France, the 42-year-old German should leave professional cycling with a bang.

Voigt is if nothing a very determined character and the 'hour' record, set in 2005 and which currently stands at 49.7km, would receive a boost of recognition if he were to take it from today's holder, Czech Ondrej Sosenka.

It's hoped that with Voigt holding the record and lifting its profile for a new audience there will be a "gold rush" of attempts from other riders, notably his team mate Fabian Cancellara and Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, who have both expressed an interest in tackling the hour of pain.

And who better to hold it than a living legend, joining the likes of Eddy Merckx who set the record long recognised as the one that really matters.

"This is not a circus act," said Voigt in announcing the attempt. "The 'hour' has lost some of its magic over the last years. Maybe my attempt could kick off a new round of hour-record attempts. I could establish a mark for everyone to give it a try. Make a bridge, you know.

"I raced against Boardman, Indurain and Sosenka. And I'm racing with Fabian (Cancellara) and his generation. If I make it, it would be sandwiched between those names. I can pave the way for them. I have no illusion to keep the record once Fabian and other specialists start having a go."





So can "The Jensie" set a new benchmark in the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen?

Voigt is an attacking rider and in the right circumstances can put down a good ITT, and riding solo in the context of a road race is something he's been doing for years with his attacking riding style.



Jensie off the front and getting caught just before the finish is an all too familiar pattern for his many fans but this time there is no such distraction, he won't be caught. It'll be all Jens all the time for a whole hour, just him and the clock.

He will surely pass the old record because he has a full season of racing in his legs, a newly relaxed set of rules by the UCI and some of the best technology in the world at his disposal, supplied by Trek and other sponsors.



It'll be fun for the fans and big marketing bonus for Trek. But does the record attempt extend its reach beyond the narrow confines of the cycling world? One look at the wire services and other media tells us that it hasn't. Comment and news on the effort has stayed mostly within the cycling world, but I don't think that really matters.



This one is for Jens and for us. One last time, together. Tonight I'll be watching and willing him along, just as I have for the past 17 years.