MILAN (VN) — Fabian Cancellara will attempt the hour record this year, in April or July/August, according to Trek Factory Racing.
“It’s for sure, this year,” general manager Luca Guercilena told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He has the hour record in his legs.”
Guercilena said that Cancellara will try to break the current 49.7-kilometer record between either April 14-27 or July 28-August 10.
“We have two windows where he’ll have a peak in form, the two weeks after Paris-Roubaix or after the Tour de France,” Guercilena added.
They are considering two venues: Anadia, Portugal, or Aguascalientes, Mexico. The Aguascalientes track recently hosted the second World Cup round when riders broke several records. However, it sets at 1800 meters. Guercilena said that the track’s air density may be regulated.
Racing in Portugal at 49 meters and closer to Cancellara’s home in Bern, Switzerland, appears more likely. Guercilena told VeloNews last month that it could be too time consuming to travel outside of Europe during the season, when Cancellara has other races on his plate.
Cancellara aims to beat Ondřej Sosenka’s record set on July 19, 2005. The Czech rode 49.700km and topped Chris Boardman’s 2000 mark of 49.441.
“It’s not as easy as it looks,” Guercilena said. “To do 50 kilometers an hour on a normal bike and on a track is harder than going 52 in a Tour de France time trial, with an aero bike, disc wheels and a stretched out position.”
Cancellara won four world championship time trials and the 2008 Olympic title in Beijing. Those results and their time at team Mapei together brought about the idea to attempt the record. Guercilena looked after the Mapei development squad, where Cancellara began racing in 2001. Aldo Sassi, the team’s trainer, told the two back then that Cancellara had the hour “in his legs.”
Trek Factory Racing already began working this month at its two team meetings, one in Belgium and one in Spain. Cancellara reportedly tested hour record equipment when he visited the Valencia’s Luis Puig Velodrome on Friday.
“Twenty-five people — 15 from Trek bicycles, engineers and biomechanics, and 10 from the team — are working on the record,” Guercilena said. “We are trying to make the bike and wheels faster while staying in the UCI’s rules. You need time for this.”
In 2000, the UCI wrote new rules that prohibited extreme bikes and positions. In its heyday, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, and many other stars broke the record. Francesco Moser, Graeme Obree, Boardman, Miguel Indurain, and Tony Rominger extended the mark as well in the 1980s and 1990s, but the UCI dismissed their distances with its 2000 rules.
Cancellara’s attempt may encourage other time trial stars like Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to do the same.
“It’d be good to get stars going for the record again, above all for someone like Cancellara who’s gone well against the clock for the last 10 years,” Guercilena told VeloNews. “It’s only right to put it on the program.”
German Tony Martin helped drive the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team to victory in the 2013 world team time trial championships Sunday aboard a Specialized S-Works Shiv TT. It was not the first Worlds win for Martin, nor the first aboard a Shiv. Here we take a look at the bike he rode this weekend, and will mount again Wednesday to defend his individual time trial world title.
While UCI rules specify that frames must be available to the general public and not one-off models, there are a few unique pieces to Martin's rig. For starters, Martin runs an enormous 58-tooth chain ring (paired to an 11-26 SRAM Red cassette). And the German is also on Specialized S-Works clincher tires. While nearly all professional riders race on tubulars for road events, a select few choose clinchers for time trials as they can offer lower rolling resistance. Martin's mechanic pumps his 24.2mm tires to 8bar (116psi).
Tony Martin's Specialized S-Works Shiv TT at the 2013 world championships
Tony Martin's Specialized S-Works Shiv TT at the 2013 World Championships: Specialized continues to tinker with its clincher compounds and construction. This clincher is 24.2mm and Martin runs it at 8bar
What kind of gear do you have to push to win the world championship time trial? Tony Martin's Specialized S-Works Shiv TT at the 2013 world championships is equipped with enormous 58/44 chainrings on a Quarq power meter
German Tony Martin is more than happy to let his legs do the talking, especially if given the choice of talking to the media. You get the sense he’d rather go in for a root canal than speak to a journalist.
In the time trials, his legs do more than talk, they roar, making him all but untouchable against the clock.
Ever since his first of what is now three straight world titles, in 2011 in Denmark, Martin has established himself as a pure time trial specialist. Just one rainbow jersey short of Fabian Cancellara’s record of four world titles, the 28-year-old German more than lives up to his nickname, the “Panzerwagen,” named after a German tank.
When the road is flat and favors power, it’s Martin who inevitably rises to the top. Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) can both beat Martin when they’re at the top of their games, but everything has to go perfectly for them to beat the tank.
Cancellara knocked back Martin in a hilly time trial course in this year’s Vuelta a España, and Wiggins had Martin’s number throughout the knighted cyclist’s dreamlike 2012 season, beating him in three key matchups, including the race for Olympic gold in London.
Martin exacted his revenge in September, however, on a flat, power course in Tuscany, relegating both Cancellara and Wiggins, who both skipped the 2012 world time trial championships, to also-ran status. His third world crown was his most emphatic, and served as confirmation that Martin is, at the moment, without peer in power time trial courses.
Yet Martin is more than a one-trick pony. Behind his quiet facade is an intense fighter, and he’s not afraid to take risks to try and win stages. No slouch in the mountains, he was second up the Mont Ventoux stage in 2009, and has won shorter stage races, such as Paris-Nice and the Tour of Belgium.
And Martin still hasn’t excluded himself from grand-tour success. Wiggins set the bar on how to win a Tour that’s laden with long time trial miles. The German would have to shed some armor to be able to hang in the mountains, but if the Tour delivers the right kind of course, he still has a few seasons to try to widen his net to include a yellow jersey.
If that ever happens, it would certainly be paved by dominance against the clock.
Women’s Time Trialist of the Year
Prior to her demonstrative world time trial championship victory in Florence in September, Ellen Van Dijk’s best result at worlds was fifth. Her world title was a breakout romp. But such was the norm in 2013 for the Specialized-lululemon rider.
The 26-year-old boasts an impressive palmares against the clock, including stage wins at the Holland Ladies Tour and the 2009 under-23 European championship, but in 2013, she reached a new level.
From the Energiewacht Tour in April to her rainbow romp in Tuscany, Van Dijk never finished worse than second in an individual time trial. Meanwhile, she anchored Specialized to four team time trial victories, including its second consecutive world title in the discipline.
The retirements of Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong, Judith Arndt, and Clara Hughes in 2012 opened the door for a new TT powerhouse to emerge, and Van Dijk gladly took up the challenge.
With a move to Boels-Dolmans for three years and eyes on Rio de Janeiro, the Dutch world champion is aimed squarely at gold in the 2016 Olympic Games.