January 31 , 2010

The Hour


The story of the only cycling records that matters, by one of our cleverest, funniest new writers

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The Hour. It's the only cycling record that matters: one man and his bike against the clock in a quest for pure speed. No teammates, no rivals, no tactics, no gears, no brakes. Just one simple question - in sixty minutes, how far can you go?

Michael Hutchinson had a plan. He was going to add his name to the list of record-holders, cycling's supermen. But how does a man who became a professional athlete by accident achieve sporting immortality? It didn't sound too hard. All he needed was a couple of hand-tooled bike frames, the most expensive wheels money could buy, a support team of crack professionals, a small pot of glue, and a credit card wired to someone else's bank account. Still, getting the glue wasn't a problem...

Michael Hutchinson became a full-time cyclist in 2000 after becoming disillusioned with an academic career. Over the following six years he has won more than twenty national titles, and the gold medal in the Masters' Pursuit World Championships. He is now a writer and journalist (and cyclist) and lives in south London.

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