Over the last couple of seasons, Danish National time trial champion Martin Toft Madsen has established himself among the world’s best against the clock. Today, Thursday, 26th July, Toft Madsen will make a committed attempt to break Sir Bradley Wiggins’ 54.526 kilometre UCI World Hour Record.
In the lead-up to the attempt, Toft Madsen partnered with some of the cycle industry’s most innovative brands. These include, Argon 18, Walker Brothers, Kappstein and Danish firm CeramicSpeed. Holstebro, Denmark-based CeramicSpeed noted that it helped its Danish counterpart to find the best possible set-up for his attempt.
On June 7th, 2015, Sir Bradley Wiggins set a new World Hour Record, bettering the previous mark by more than 1,500m. When Wiggins took to the boards of the Lee Valley Velodrome the record stood at 52.937km, set only a month earlier by compatriot Alex Dowsett at the Manchester Velodrome. Wiggins made sure to write his name into the history books by pushing the boundaries of the hour to its current mark.
Since then only a few riders have attempted the record. Preparing for the 2018 season, Toft Madsen set a new Danish record riding 52.324 kilometers in 60 minutes. His coach and manager, Frank Jakobsen, describes this record ride as being a decisive factor for Toft Madsen to focus on the World Hour Record.
“Knowing that Martin’s endurance would get better once he started his road season, we decided to work quite intensively on building up power and strength. That approach proved successful early on. Since January we refined our approach, focusing on the World Hour Record attempt. I am confident that he will be able to challenge the current mark,” said Frank Jakobsen.
Adding to this, Jakobsen and Toft Madsen chose the newly resurfaced velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, for the attempt.
Jakobsen continued, “Martin reacts really well to altitude. The velodrome is almost 2,000m above sea level which will benefit his effort. Therefore, we chose to try and break the record here.”
Toft Madsen is a professional engineer and knows about the importance of technological advantages. With CeramicSpeed, ‘the world’s leading manufacturer of low-friction drivetrain products’, close to his doorstep, the collaboration came naturally. From the beginning, the aim was to find the most efficient drivetrain for track bikes, allowed under the UCI regulations for the world hour record.
Jason Smith, CeramicSpeed’s Chief Technology Officer, led the test programme together with Toft Madsen and reviewed numerous chainring-cog combinations. Furthermore, the company refined the treatment process of its UFO Racing Chains to find the fastest chains ever tested in its own laboratories.
“Martin is an absolute master of the details,” said Martin Banke, Executive Vice President of CeramicSpeed. “He turns every stone to get the best out of himself and the equipment. It’s been a pleasure to support Martin on this attempt; having him inside the company and deploying our best minds to support his attempt is something we are proud of. Martin is an outsider with a genuine shot at this record. We’ll be behind him all the way.”
After nearly four months of extensive testing, the final decision on Toft Madsen’s equipment was made. He will use CeramicSpeed Wheel Bearings and Bottom Bracket, combined with an 11spd UFO Racing Chain from Shimano. The chain will be paired with chainrings and cogs from Kappstein. Walker Brothers will deliver the wheels, while the frame will be provided by Argon18, which is, like CeramicSpeed, a partner of the Danish National Federation.
“Martin is really strong in his understanding of materials and aerodynamics,” said Frank Jakobsen. “So we are understandably happy to call these brands our partners. They provide Martin with the best products available. The support we got will be a key factor in breaking the record.”
Toft Madsen wouldn’t be the first Danish rider to hold the World Hour Record. In 1968, Ole Ritter set a mark that would last for four years, only to be beaten by Eddy Merckx, the most successful male athlete in the history of cycling. It may even be a positive omen that Ritter set his record in Mexico.
The attempt will take place on Thursday, July 26th at around 11:00 local time in Mexico (GMT -5) with the exact start time to be confirmed. Cycling fans can watch the attempt live via TV2 Sport in Denmark and UCI Online.