Image: (c) crankphoto
Swedish Hour Record not enough to satisfy Cult Energy Pro Cycling rider.
“I just didn’t have it at all. I was far from it,” said an exhausted Larsson shortly after his Hour Record attempt.
Gustav Larsson (Cult Energy Pro Cycling) may have fallen short of Rohan Dennis’ (BMC Racing Team) current UCI Hour Record of 52.491km but the Swede did more than enough to set a new national record of 50.016km – at the recent Revolution Series in Manchester.
The former Olympic TT silver medallist was visibly disappointed in his inability to match the necessary pace but his effort was rewarded with a new Swedish record. Larsson now joins a growing list of riders including Dame Sarah Storey, Australian Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) and Thomas Dekker who have showcased the difficultly of simply riding the Hour.
“I suspected it would be this hard and it was *** hard!,” said Larsson who immediately added he wouldn’t attempt it again shortly after the finish. The former Swedish TT champion has since told Verve Cycling that he will certainly make a return to the track. Verve Cycling spoke to Gustav a couple of days after his attempt to get his thoughts on the Hour and his season ahead.
Verve Cycling: How important has it been to train with power in the lead up to performing the Hour Record – given you cannot use it during the actual test?
Gustav Larsson: I use a 180mm cranks but only had about a week to train with it beforehand, I trained without a power meter for the entire winter during the off-season but I’m really looking forward to using InfoCrank this year.
VC: Did you have a planned average power and cadence for the Hour? How does this compare to your usual threshold on the road?
I was aiming for around 430 watts which is a bit below what I can sustain when in top condition. My peak form is usually towards the later part of the year during June and September when I’ve enjoyed warmer weather and a good number of race days. March isn’t the ideal time, which I knew from the start but it fitted perfectly into my race schedule and I just had to give it a go.
Image: (c) crankphoto
VC: You were obviously aiming to beat the current record set by Rohan Dennis (BMC) but did you calculate how far you could push it?
I was hoping to perform at my best but I was unable to even come close to my potential. That’s the tricky thing with sport and last Saturday was just not my day. I should have just stayed in bed. The crowd was great and that really motivated me but I just didn’t have it despite feeling good in the days prior. Honestly, it was just one hour of suffering, pedalling squares and with no flow at all, which isn’t normal when I’m going well.
It was barely 10 minutes after my hour of hell that I decided I must do it again. It’s something I have to do, for myself, to see what I can really do when pushing the right average power. The next attempt will involve much more track training. This time I missed the black line too much and never got into the ebb and flow of the track. I met a lot of great people in Manchester and they gave me some great advice that I’ll use next time. I really enjoyed my experience in Manchester – except my hell hour – and I really look forward to do some good training. I’ll aim to get good support for the next time so I can return to my top level and then it will be a different ballgame..
VC: What are your biggest goals for the season outside of the hour record?
It’s time to get back into good condition and then focus on the next big races; Bayern Rundfahrt and then Tour de Suisse – which is a race I always liked. As always I’ll be heading to the Worlds time trial with big ambitions. After that who knows, maybe I’m back on the track.
Verve Cycling is proud to support Gustav and his Cult Energy Pro Cycling squad for the 2015 season and we’re sure he’ll be back again with an even greater performance – now that he’s training with the most accurate and reliable power meter available.
Watch the highlights video below from his Hour Record attempt below.