Panache’s Poetry Corner: The Hour Record

Seeing a rider attempt the hour record is like watching poetry in motion. So much so that I was inspired to compose a haiku about the spectacle.

The tick of the clock

A single man on the track

Blood, sweat, tears, and PAIN

The current contenders for painful glory in the next two weeks are Jack Bobridge and Rohan Dennis.

Bobridge, the Australian rider from Team Budget Forklifts, makes his attempt in Melbourne on Saturday 31st January. He’s in great shape, as can be seen from his stage win in last week’s Tour Down Under. His track pedigree speaks for itself, with gold, silver and bronze medals in team and individual pursuit, plus a clutch of national and world championships under his belt.

Dennis, the young BMC phenom who just took the overall victory at the Tour Down Under, will attempt the record in Grenchen, Switzerland on Sunday 8th February. He is certainly showing great form with his impressive win at the TDU and he’ll be riding with a lot of confidence.

Both men are aiming to beat Matthias Brandle, the Austrian who set the current mark of 51.852km last October. Brandle beat Jens Voigt, who basically kicked off the resurgence of interest in the hour record last September as his last statement before retiring.

Bradley Wiggins has announced he will be making his own attempt in June (probably) but as yet there are no dates from Tony Martin or Fabian Cancellara, who have both expressed an interest. As for Alex Dowsett, who had planned his tilt at the record for the end of February, has had to postpone indefinitely due to a broken collarbone.

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