Boardman primed to go the distance

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Chris Boardman plans to instil the fear factor into his rivals at the Manchester Velodrome tonight by recapturing the coveted world hour record.

"If all goes to plan I will put the record at such a level that the top riders will have to think long and hard before attempting to break it," said the Wirral-based rider, who will again adopt the style of riding pioneered by Scotland's Graeme Obree.

"With this record there is no second place - you either break it or you don't," Boardman said. "To even announce you are going to attack it you have to be confident you are going to be successful."

The 28-year-old first broke the mark in 1993, although it is currently held by Tony Rominger of Switzerland, who covered 55.291km in Bordeaux in 1994. The hour record is cycling's equivalent of the mile mark in athletics and has been held by greats such as the Belgian Eddy Merckx, Italy's Francesco Moser and Spain's Miguel Indurain.

Boardman has opted to make his attempt on the super-fast Manchester track, which is earning the reputation of being the equivalent of Oslo's Bislett Stadium for record-breaking.

Several records fell when the Velodrome hosted the World Track Championships last week - Boardman sliced eight seconds off the month-old 4,000m pursuit time while on his way to gold. That form and his times during training suggest he could become the first rider to shatter the 56km barrier.