Servais Knavendish

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The Hour Record
« on: November 04, 2021, 17:31 »
So I found watching Dowsett's unsuccessful attempt quite a difficult watch. 

Yes firstly because lets face it Hour attempts are a difficult watch - one man alone on a track for 168 laps... 

But I mean the real sense of disappointment and anti climax for the rider, his family, his coach Hutch and small on track team; and those of us watching the somewhat grainy track imagery.  Added to that the sense that it was something of a last meaningful hurrah for a rider that I have followed with interest since his junior days. 

I guess it was increasing clear to him at half distance or certainly by say 35 mins that the record was beyond him, and I couldn't help but be drawn into what it must be like for him at that moment pushing all those watts on a completely lost cause. 

His slow gliding stop; and evident sheer physical and emotional fatigue at the end was of course the mirror opposite of the adrenaline filled laps of honour that he must have anticipated.  The sight of him hobbling to his chair was reminiscent of a badly beaten boxer; and I was somewhat thankful that the Beeb decided to kill the feed at that point.

So yes kudos to him for trying - and everything that went into that from hours on tracks and in wind tunnels to the £900 gold chain, etc etc.  Plus I guess good on him for showing that these records don't just tumble as a matter of course; and that the current record might just be a record for some time... pending a certain Italian gentleman perhaps

Overall much more emotional than I anticipated
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  • Leadbelly

    • World Champion
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    Re: The Hour Record
    « Reply #1 on: November 04, 2021, 18:42 »
    As I wrote in I-SUN thread, if he was going to beat it, it would as much down to the technological improvements over the past years rather than him suddenly becoming a much more powerful rider. He was a better TT-er when he beat the record initially, but now 6½ years down the line and at altitude he's 1.5km faster.

    Missing out on the British record is quite telling too. Bigham is a CT rider, probably had much less financial/technological backing than Dowsett and didn't make his attempt at altitude. Yet he still couldn't beat that. As you say though Servais, it must have been tough to keep on going at 110% when you know you not going to break the World Record.

    Obviously all the above doesn't take away from the blood, sweat and tears that anyone puts into a record attempt like this. Chapeau to that and all his fundraising and raising awareness of his charities.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: The Hour Record
    « Reply #2 on: November 04, 2021, 22:28 »
    I've been very critical of the Cookson reform of the Hour record which I still consider an hour performance rather than an hour record but even though it was set on a modern aero bike against the old traditional rules that required an ordinary bikes (no clip-ons, no plunging frames, etc.), the physical performance is still hard in itself, it still is an amazing effort, regardless.

    However I stand by what I said in them days. It's a shame that Mr. Cookson reformed the rules right when Cancellara decided to make his attempt on an ordinary bike, for the real Hour. Back then, the argument in favour of the reform is that it could be an objective for most of the best time-trialists of the days. But now, did the very best go for it? Tony Martin never attempted. Neither did Tom Dumoulin. Dennis did, probably the best rider to do it so far. Wiggins was past his prime when he did. Campenaerts is still the holder and it's now 2,5 years while we could've had Cancellara.
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