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20-year-old to make third attempt at Wiggins's Hour Record this year

Joe Robinson
28 Mar 2019

Young Dane to make attempt after World Championships in September with practice run in June

Young Dane Mikkel Berg has confirmed he will attempt to beat Bradley Wiggins's UCI Hour Record for the third time having set the second-longest ever distance last October.

The current Under 23 time-trial World Champion set a distance of 53.730km at the Odense Cykelbane velodrome, in Denmark, late last year. This saw the 20-year-old fall just 796m short of Wiggins's 54.526km record set at the Lee Valley Velodrome back in 2015.

In an interview with Zipp wheels, sponsor of Berg's Hagens Berman Axeon trade team, he confirmed he will take a 'practice run' at the record in June before setting an official date for the attempt after the UCI World Championships in Yorkshire this September.

'I know I’m going to do a practice attempt in June, and then from there I will decide what’s the plan,' said Berg.

'I obviously have the World Championships really late in the season, so everything leading up to that is more or less preparation, especially now because I will do the Hour Record after the Under-23 World Championships in Yorkshire.

'This year is for me a year when I can really prepare myself for those two big main events.'

Berg set a distance of 52.311km in his first attempt in 2017. Aged just 18, it was enough to set a new Danish record. The Dane then took back-to-back under 23 time-trial world titles in 2017 and 2018 despite being just 19-years-old.

More than just his age, making Berg's attempts at the Hour Record that bit more impressive is the lack of preparation. Wiggins's record came at the end of extensive preparations that saw the Brit riding some of the most innovative technology available, a stark contrast to Berg.

'I pretty much just took apart my bike and threw some disc wheels on it and turned it into a track bike basically,' he explained.

'Last year I got a bit more into it. I got a more track specific frame. I was really trying to see how far I can push it and I set a new Danish record. The goal this year is to break the UCI Hour Record.'

When Berg makes his third attempt at the record later this year, there is a chance it could be held by a new rider and not Wiggins.

Next month, Lotto-Soudal's Victor Campenaerts will head to the Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico which is 2km above sea-level. The Belgian hopes riding at altitude with lower air density will bring him within touching distance of the distance Wiggins set at sea-level.

While Campenaerts hopes to benefit from altitude, Berg sees it as a disadvantage with his attempt likely to take place at home in Denmark or in Switzerland.

'I think it’s probably going to be in Switzerland or Denmark right now. I don’t think altitude would benefit me because I would lose too much power in altitude. I’ve never really done any altitude training.'

Campenaerts's attempt at the Hour Record will come on either the 16th or 17th April with a live stream expected on the UCI's official website.