Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Daily Cycling Facts 23.01.2013

Francesco Moser
(copyright expired)
Moser's 1984 Hour Records
On this day in 1984, Francesco Moser set a new Hour Record at 51.151km. Four days earlier, he had broken the previous record with 50.808km. Both of these are classified as "Best Human Effort" records due to the radical nature of Moser's bike which was fitted with disc wheels and various other goodies, resulting in the UCI's decision to issue a decree that the official record had to be set on a bike similar to that used by Eddy Merckx when he set the 1972 record that Moser was trying to break (the Human Effort category was then introduced so as not to stifle innovation, and predictably has become far more interesting than the main UCI record).

Moser's record is also controversial due to his association with Dr. Francesco Conconi, the man who used his expertise in developing new anti-doping measures to find drugs that could not be traced, which he would then supply to cyclists at considerable financial expense to them. Conconi, who is generally thought to have been responsible for introducing EPO into cycling (and thus giving rise to a new and notorious era in the sport), later wrote a book describing how he had "prepared" Moser for the record using methods such as blood doping that are now very much illegal, bannable offences (to be fair to Moser, most of the previous record holders would almost certainly have also been "prepared" in some way or another; Conconi, whose medical credentials are in no doubt, was simply the first to do it in a scientific way).

Moser's Hour Record bike
(public domain image)
On the 15th of January in 1994 Moser - then aged 43 - set a new Veteran Hour Record at 51.840km, again in Mexico City and aboard a bike inspired by the one featuring washing machine parts used by Graeme Obree to set two more Human Effort Hour Records in 1993 and 1994. Note that this distance is greater than the one he set ten years earlier when he was 33.

Other cyclists born on this day: Rhys Lloyd (Great Britain, 1989); Nikita Eskov (USSR, 1983); Henri Collard (Belgium, 1912, died 1988); Pascal Lance (France, 1964); José Teña (Spain, 1951); Håkan Larsson (Sweden, 1958); Axel Wilhelm Persson (Sweden, 1888, died 1955); Erik Friis (Denmark, 1916, died 1983); Georgi Velinov (Bulgaria, 1912); Federico de Beni (Italy, 1973); Eric Berthou (France, 1980).

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