QuestionYo Cosmo, What's your view on the scrapping of The Athlete's hour? Answer

I think I’ve been over this once or twice, but the change is silly. The UCI wants people to do the Hour Record. No one does it because it’s hard and there’s nothing in it for the rider—no prize, only minor visibility, and maybe endorsements.

I don’t think I can stress enough how ridiculous Meckx’s effort was. It was 12 years before Moser broke it, and he needed both doping and aero tech. It was another 9 before Obree broke it with even better tech and really opened the floodgates. That Boardman was able to come back and break it on a standard bike is miraculous. That Sosenka was able to better that was a testament to the power of EPO.

The narrative that the UCI made the Merckx bike rules and suddenly that killed the record is completely false. It was dead for a long time before people found a ways to make it significantly easier. The UCI is literally lowering the bar in an attempt to drum up interest, but in the process, eliminating the main reason people are interested.

Here are some dots:

  • There are only two points to a record-based competition:
    1. seeing how fast people can go, no technology excluded
    2. letting riders compare themselves to non-contemporaries by tightly controlling for technology.
  • Both points are equally legit—no retro-grouching here
  • The new UCI rules achieve neither end—all historical comparison is destroyed, still-illegal faired recumbents remain much faster.
  • The Merckx record called for what more or less remains a standard road bike—the kind riders use every day. The idea that tech kept people away is false.

The UCI is even capricious in recognizing its own stupid rules, as Colby Pearce should have been announced as the current Hour Record holder. He’s certainly a preferably title-holder to the widely-discredited Sosenka.

  1. oboy-oboy reblogged this from cyclocosm and added:
    Utterly relevant reading about semi-obscure matters.
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