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  • 24.12.14

    Weekly Wibble: The Finest Hour

    Rouleur editor to set new Hour Record benchmark. Plus Moser's big wheel, Merckx's mash and Obree's orbit. Let's wibble.

    Words
    Ian Cleverly
    Photographs
    Offside-LeEquipe

Rouleur editor Ian Cleverly is the latest to announce an attempt on the Hour Record, aiming to beat Matthias Brändle’s 51.583 kilometres set in October.

Cleverly, believed to be even older than Jens Voigt, uses the antiquated German as a benchmark. “I saw him in the flesh at the Zwift party the other night, and he ain’t all that. Sure, the guy puts out a few Watts, but nothing special.”

The south London man, who has never used a power meter, hopes his current training regime and glittering palmarès will be sufficient to set a new distance.

“I won a hilly time-trial once," said the cocky Cockney. "Admittedly, it was a new course and nobody else found the start on time. Oh, and a heat of the handicap sprint at Herne Hill, although I did start in the finishing straight. But the Hour is all about mental strength, and that's something I've got in spades. Steve Peters has been helping with my 'inner chimp' and we've bashed it round the bonce with one of my spades. It'll be a doddle.”

Cleverly joins a growing list of riders aiming for the blue riband record in the coming months, including Bradley Wiggins, Alex Dowsett, Jack Bobridge and Uncle Tom Cobley. Sarah Storey has also thrown her hat into the ring and will be looking to catch Dowsett in a ‘death match’ pursuit at the Revolution meeting in February.

“I’ve seen Dowsett in action and I can take him - can I have my hat back please?” the Dame commented, before heading off for rehearsals of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Macclesfield Grand.

Mexico in April is the favoured location for Cleverly’s bid, subject to confirmation. “I’ve heard they have a track out there, and it’s somewhere I have always wanted to visit,” said the skinny grey-haired bloke. “The weather should be lovely in April. There’s just one problem: I sold my track bike on eBay a few weeks back, so need an equipment sponsor.

“So any manufacturer of fixies – you know: no brakes, colour-matching tyres, a playing card in the spokes, that sort of thing – who wants to see their machine smash the record, please get in touch at blitheringidiot@rouleur.cc  

STAT’S THE WAY, UH HUH UH HUH

0 – number of Hour Record attempts in 2013

5,327 – number of Hour Record attempts planned for 2015

YOUTUBE THROWBACK

When wheels were big, then bigger: Francesco Moser pushes the boundaries of equipment possibilities, and good taste...

A study in contrasting styles. The great Graeme Obree does 'Superman'; Andrea Collinelli takes more of a Moser approach.

Merckx mashes it in Mexico: a new record set by King Eddy.

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