Has anyone visited the VeloNews site today? Yesterday Chris Boardman set the World Hour Record again, at 49.441km, beating Merckx's mark of 49.431 - that's right Merckx's mark. As of October 1, UCI adopted new rules requiring world hour attempts to be made on conventional bikes over a minimum weight with conventional spoked wheels and a normal riding position. Boardman was apparently the first to attempt the hour record under the new rules. I haven't seen a complete explanation of the rules, but I gather from the VeloNews site that all the records since Merckx's aren't exactly invalidated. But all these, beginning with Moser and including Boardman's previous records, were aided by some sort of aerodynamic device. Therefore, record attempts conforming to the new rules will not need to beat these aero-aided marks to be recognized as a new record. Boardman retired immediately after setting the new record. I thought his road career was a bit of a disappointment, but he sure knew how to go out in style.
Wow, this whole situation is so totally retro that the honchos at UCI should be made honorary members of CR and iBOB. I know there is probably divided opinion, even here, as to whether the UCI "retro" rules on road and track are good or bad. Some may argue that if technology after Merckx is suppressed, why not make everyone use the same machines as Oscar Egg and Marcel Berthet? My view is that Merckx's bike was much closer to Egg's than to Moser's despite the time gap between Egg and Merckx being so much greater. I think standardizing the machine gives records much more historical significance, just as requiring wooden bats allows major leaguers today to be compared to Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Maybe the hot bikes in the 2001 TdF peleton will be replicas of Anquetil's Heylett or Bobet's Stella.
Jerry "Everything old is new again" Moos