"We believe that I have a fair chance," the German says of his chances.
Fan-favourite Jens Voigt has not retired just yet: after seemingly bowing out of the sport at the recent US Pro Challenge race in Colorado, the 42-year-old German today announced he will attempt to break the Hour Record later this month.
Voigt announced the news of his attempt today. He will seek to beat the 49.7-kilometres that Ondřej Sosenka rode in 2005, at the Velodrome Swiss in Grenchen, Switzerland. Voigt’s former Credit Agricole team-mate Chris Boardman held the record for five years prior to Sosenka’s ride.
In a statement, Voigt said:
It’s a huge challenge for me, both physical and mental. This is a huge project and probably it’s going to come as a surprise for many people. We have been doing some discrete tests in the velodrome in Roubaix prior to the Dauphiné and we believe that I have a fair chance.
It’s a fascinating event: it’s super hard, but it’s a great discipline. Man and machine against the clock. A lot of logistics comes in play: when, where, how, etc. But I didn’t have to convince anybody: both Trek and our GM Luca Guercilena were all exited when I told them about my idea. They gave me a lot of support.
Voigt’s former Trek Factory Racing team-mate Fabian Cancellara had previously spoken about his plans to attempt the record, but put his plans on hold in May.
“Luckily we could use some of the blueprints that were being drawn for Fabian, so we kind of hit the ground running,” Voigt added.
Explaining his decision to take on the record, the German said:
Why I do this? Why not! Everyone saw the memo from the UCI. It’s been four months and I honestly find it quite strange that nobody has given it a try so far. We have 18 WorldTour teams, plus more than a 1000 pro continental riders and an immense group of amateurs that also can have a go. I’m not to blame that I take the chances that life – or in this case the UCI – gives me. I’m the first one that’s brave enough to do it. Everybody had the same time frame to be ready for it.
The hour record is one of the oldest events in our sport. I want to put a little bit of light and focus on this.
Recent National 10 champion Matt Bottrill had earmarked September 14 as a possible date for his proposed Hour Record attempt, but this was foiled by the UCI because he does not have a biological passport.
Tickets for Voigt’s Hour Record are available online via the Velodrome Suisse website.