The UCI Hour Record is an achievement that immortalises the fastest riders. Alex Dowsett, British time trial specialist from Israel Start-Up Nation and an hour record champion himself, will attempt to break the record once again on December 12, 2020. The only known elite-level professional cyclist with haemophilia, Alex is an inspiration in the saddle and a beast on the track.
Join Alex on his journey as he trains for his battle against the clock, working to beat current record holder Victor Campenaerts record of 55.089km. Train alongside Alex, with group workouts he wrote himself! The TT champ will lead a number of rides. Bring your energy and help fuel Alex towards glory.
Alex’s mission is simple: retake the Hour Record in the velodrome. Dowsett grabbed the title five years ago in Manchester, proving that haemophiliacs can achieve exceptional feats with respect and careful management of their condition.
But this will be anything but easy. Many attempt, but not all succeed. The Hour Record is a brutal event that pushes a rider’s endurance and spirit beyond the limit.
Alex Dowsett is a British road racing pro with multiple Tour appearances. Recently, he won Stage 8 of the world-renowned Giro d’Italia, which was also Israel Start-Up Nation’s first Grand Tour stage victory! He’s currently training for the postponed 2020 Olympics, and if selected, will be the first haemophiliac ever to compete at the able-bodied Olympic Games.
Ride With Purpose
Doctors are now on the brink of discovering groundbreaking treatments to help those around the world struggling with blood disorders. Alex’s charity, Little Bleeders, supports young haemophiliacs across the UK and inspires them through the power of sport and movement to “Move more, Be more.”
The Little Bleeders Sport Fund raises awareness of haemophilia and inspires children to be active as part of their everyday life. The Fund provides financial assistance to any haemophiliacs in the UK who want to be active in sport.
Alex prepared these workouts himself, as part of his Hour Record training set by his coaches. What does this mean for you? Well, let’s just say you’re in for a next-level challenge.
In group workouts, everyone who pedals together stays together. Imagine an invisible “rubber band” that keeps the peloton tight—whether you’re producing big or small watts. As long as you pedal, you’re part of the pack.
We chatted with Alex for a breakdown of the sessions, each of which honour legends in hour record cycling. Join his Lead Rides each week, and ride with the pro himself.
Unlead Ride 1: The Mexico City
5x Tour de France Champion Eddy Merckx broke the hour record in 1972, and we’re kicking off this training session in the Belgian’s honour. Many pros, including Alex, regard Eddy’s record of 49.43 km as still standing, leaving the modern day hour record a separate competition entirely. In honour of the legend, we’re dedicating our first workout after him.
Lead Ride 1: The Grenchen
So what’s the Grenchen? Only that legendary 2014 attempt—by Aussie pro cyclist Rohan Dennis—at breaking the world record in Switzerland. He set a distance 52.49 km, an incredible showing that Alex has chased often during his training. So you already know we had to bring it into this event series.
Unlead Ride 2: The Stratford City
Welcome to Stratford City, in honour of one of the UK’s most versatile and decorated athletes, Sir Bradley Wiggins. With multiple Olympic Gold medals for track and road—as well as a Tour de France win—the former Hour Record holder has set the bar sky high. Sir Wiggins is the type of athlete to throw caution to the wind and go all out. We had do him proud.
Lead Ride 2: The Aguascalientes
The battle for the Women’s Hour Record is a much closer fight than the Men’s, with a decisive difference of only 27 meters! We’re honouring the current world record holder, Italy’s Vittoria Bussi, in this one. She set an incredible distance of 48.007 km in Mexico. This is where we put our heads down and push out a higher level workout.
Unlead Ride 3: The Colorado
In this ride, we give it up for Evie Stevens, one of the world’s best racers, who broke the Hour Record in Colorado at 47.98 km. That incredible showing put her just a kilometer over the previous record, set by Australia’s Bridie O'Donnell.
Lead Ride 3: The Aguascalientes Mark 2.0
Say hello to the toughest session in the series. Named after the current Hour Record holder, Victor Campenaerts, this ride puts you through your paces in pursuit of a greater level of fitness. Victor is admired for his attention to detail and willingness to think outside the box. To hit our next level, we’ve got to do the same.
Unlead Ride 4: The Manchester
The ‘90s were a huge spectacle for Hour Record races. Why? Well, part of it was British former pro Chris Boardman’s multiple rides chasing that coveted record—not to mention his iconic rivalry with Graeme Obree. Adopting the now-banned Superman position, Boardman's distance of 56.365 km on the Lotus Bike still stands under modern-day rules and regulations. Time to get stoked and put in the work.
Lead Ride 4: The Hamar
Some might say Graeme Obree needs no introduction.
Maybe they’re right. But the man is a veritable legend, so we’re going to give him one anyway.
Known throughout the world as The Flying Scotsman, Graeme’s innovations in bike design and ride positions are as famous as his athletic endeavours. He battled constantly with the UCI, with the latter keen on keeping tradition and Obree wanting to find the limits of what the human body was capable of. His tuck position helped him achieve a distance of 51.596 km, set in Hamar, Norway. After it was banned, he invented the Superman position on bikes he built himself. He's a true legend of the sport and a rider both we and Alex wanted to finish this training series on.
Completing any of them is an achievement in itself. But if you want to see how you stack up, join the action and see how well you can do. Sign up below to take part.
Get Closer to the Action
Alex will be live streaming the group workout sessions he leads through his Thighs Club YouTube channel. So, whether you’re joining a workout on Zwift or you just want to see what it’s like to train for an Hour Record attempt from the comfort of your armchair, you’ll be able to get a front row seat and support Alex on his journey.
Each week Alex will also be sharing updates in a series of ‘a day in the life’ vlogs, giving you unprecedented insight into his day-to-day.
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Coming Soon: Fight Night, December 12
You’ll also get the opportunity to join the fun on December 12 as Alex takes his last lap—the Fight Night Ride—before making a same-day attempt at the record. Keep your eyes peeled for more details.