Pros on Bikes – When Time Is of the Essence

Mark Cavendish Tour de France 2011 time trial

The 1 hour record has captured cyclists interest showing that adrenalin is a much stronger drug than doping.

Most people who bike will bet it’s one of the fastest ways to get where they are going. And if practiced professionally, time is of the essence. So how do pros go about making their best time? Well one easy way out is of course to take those speed-enhancing drugs. But hey, are you ready to face the health risks involved, or the scandal? Of course everyone in cycling knows that cycling has a bad reputation for chugging as much drugs as they do water, to win.

Since the 1990’s down, EU gambling news have been riddled with cycling teams being accused of taking drugs to show better performance. Most recently, a shocked online sports betting world, dropped jaws as ex-cancer patient, Lance Armstrong, not only got stripped of all his titles, as the fastest man on 2 wheels in the Tour de France, but his former sponsors demanded their money back, when he confirmed allegations of doping, during his Tour de France wins.

The trendy one hour record

That said folks, there are still loads of honest cyclists out there who we would all like to wager on, as they make record time in an hour. That pretty much seems to be the growing trend of most keen professional cyclists today – cycling as fast as one can in an hour. Because no cyclist, whether they ‘re on the track, on tarmac or in a field, can physically just sit in the aerodynamic position for an hour, without training and adrenalin on their side.

This was brought about especially after a marked change in laws around speed cycling, which was made almost a year ago. In less than a year, six cyclists, all men, have placed a bet at being the fastest man on a bicycle in one hour. So far 3 have won and 2 more are close to making it. One of them is none other than a Tour de France winner and gold medalist, Bradley Wiggins.

Wiggins will have a chance to make it in the race nicknamed the “Holy Grail for cyclists”. The quest will be on June 7 in London, where online gambling sites in the EU abound to wager on him. Wiggins will try to beat Rohan Dennis from Australia, who holds the current record having beaten Matthias Brandle, from Austria, by riding an additional 742 meters distance, equivalent to about eight football fields.

Athlete’s Hour vs Best Human Effort

The cyclist’s will to attain a 1 hour record dates back from the end of the 19th century where an American wheeled his way to glory on an ‘old-time bike with a huge front wheel’. Cyclists could either go the Athlete’s Hour way or the the Best Human Effort way. In the former, to break the record you had to ride an old broken down bike like what.

As for the latter, aerodynamic plays a large role, as it does in other sports, such as the Formula One. Chris Boardman had a go, with the Best Human Effort way 15 years earlier. So did champions like Jacques Anquetil, Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx, who rode to break the record in 1972. This 1 hour record was so much easier to break as well in the the 1990s (we wonder why?) and once in 2005, then interest in doing so just kind of dulled.

 There will be only one individual time trial this year

Boardman was a winner thanks to his ‘futuristic, Lotus-designed bike leaning so far forward that his style was called the Superman position’. This means that anyone who tries to break the one hour record ‘must be in the biological passport testing pool, meaning they are subject to regular examination’, thanks to a change in the rules of the UCI governing body for the sports of cycling, just a year ago.

Will cyclists interests wane to break 1 hour record?

Brian Cookson, UCI president said “We’re really happy with how a rule change like that has, in effect, created something out of nothing”. However, people like the expert in time trials and one-day classics, Fabian Cancellara, preferred trying his luck on a ‘Merckx-style bike’. While people like Dennis was more interested in placing his bets on online betting sites, thus putting his money where his mouth was.

For as a time-trial specialist, with a background on the track, Dennis humbly declared before his win “I shot my mouth off a little bit, being a bit cheeky. I just said that I would smash him (Jens Voigt). I said that he’d break the record, but I’d make his record look stupid”. As it turned out, when Dennis pedaled at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland, where EU gambling laws keeps 20% of frequent gamblers entertained. Dennis said of his record in February “I’ve never had a world record to my name. How many people have, really?”.

The race against the clock was so hard that Dennis only knew at the 8th minute to the end that he was going to break the record, even if he just didn’t know by how much. But we wonder, how much longer before interest in breaking an hour record on 2 wheels ,wanes again? Well if we wager and Wiggins wins, we might end up with more and more cyclists willing to have a go, for as Dennis himself said “If he doesn’t break it, it’ll probably discourage 99% of the people in cycling.”

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