Quite a few people are getting terribly excited that Bradley Wiggins, Fabian Cancellara and now Tony Martin could all attempt to break the Hour record within the next few months. But the interest surrounding time trialling’s triumvirate throwing their pointy hats into the ring is surely in inverse proportion to the low level of excitement involved in watching the event itself. Basically, you’re looking at 60 minutes of a man going around in circles – or three hours if they all end up doing it. Watching Strava updates would be more thrilling (although if an attempt fails, you may in theory have witnessed the fastest time for a brand new segment).
So here’s how I’d like to inject some interest into the proceedings: Bradley, Fabian and Tony attempt the record at exactly the same time in their home countries, all linked up by a live simulcast. Now that’s what I call a race.
The Hour, of course, has been attempted behind closed doors, but in an age where we can watch feeds of small, obscure races, that approach would just seem retrograde and not befitting the prestige of the event. Plus, this is a unique opportunity to supply the cycling community with exactly what it craves: an orgy of raw, uncompromising and constantly-updated data. Split the screen into three, show where each competitor’s distance is in relation to the other two and how close they are to beating the record. If that doesn’t get your stat bone tingling, then nothing will.
The combination of what fans love most about the sport – athletic achievement matched by a dynamic use of technology – would make my fantasy Hour record a fascinating spectacle. The Superbowl of cycling, no less. Who’s in?