May 22, 2009, 10:23AM

How Fa(r)st Can You Go

The Hour challenge.

In an interview in Cycling Plus 224 (on sale 5 June), 43-year-old Obree says he has been training hard, built a bike that conforms with UCI regulations (you can see him and it at BikeRadar Live),  and set a date of late 2009 to make the attempt."I'm not saying that I will break the hour record, but I am aspiring to do it," said Obree. "You know, last year was the first year since I was 16 that I didn't win a bike race."I don't think that you're physically hampered from winning at the highest level just because of age. To diminish yourself just in terms of age isn't justified. I don't think you can use it as an excuse, not if you've kept it going."The current record, using 'modern' UCI rules, is 49.7km, held by Czech Ondrej Sosenka. In the past, when the rules allowed for more aerodynamic bikes, Obree twice broke the record: 51.596km in 1993 and 52.713km in 1994.The bar was eventually raised to 56.375km by Chris Boardman in 1996, before the UCI banned the types of bikes and 'superman' riding style that allowed such speeds to be reached. Now, only traditional round-tubed diamond frames with spoked wheels and drop handlebars are allowed. Luckily, Obree knows how to build bikes.


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