Sunday, May 13, 2007

The start of It - Mimitig

So all does not begin well for Scotsman Chris Hoy as he makes his attempt to break Arnaud Tournant's world record for the kilo. By fractions of a second - something only possible to measure with today's technology - Hoy falls outside the Frenchman's 7 year old time.

Given the travel problems that have beset Hoy on his journey to Bolivia, I am stunned that he was even in fit state to make an attempt on the record on Saturday (Bolivian time). What should have been a straight-forward journey became complicated by delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions - Latin American fog frustrates sporting excellence could easily be another headline coming so soon after the chaos in Argentina for the rally-drivers.

As I write, I understand that Chris will be going for it again tomorrow, and maybe, tomorrow and tomorrow until he breaks through the barrier. How his body will stand up to this is a real journey into the unknown, and whether he will be in a state to attack the 200m and 500m in subsequent days, must now be in doubt.

What is in no doubt is that a time of 59.103 seconds when not fully fit and properly prepared for the kilo is stunning.

More anon.

14 comments:

MotM said...

I think he'll get it tomorrow and what an achievement it will be - worth at least a quarter inch of column space in the British Press.

Keep us tuned in Mimi.

guitougoal said...

mimi,
why is bolivia the place where it's taking place?
is it because a bolivian hour is shorter?
I don't Bolive-it.

mimi said...

guitou: it's all to do with altitude, and no doubt you'll all be bored shitless when i do the full piece.

Anonymous said...

He's done the half kilo I notice.

MotM said...

He's done the halk kilo I notice.

Zeph said...

I don't think we'll be bored at all Mimi, it's obviously an extraordinary achievement, but can you explain about the altitude? I would have thought it made it more difficult?

nesta said...

zeph

I don't know the exact science involved - iron molecules, haemoglobin, less air pressure etc but I do know that at the Mexican Olympics held high above sea level many records were broken.

Basically the higher you are the faster you burn.

If the record was set at or near sea level I reckon that this Hoy bloke is cycling's version of Murali.

There'll be an astericks beside his name in the record books.I'm cynical of sportsman that try and set records not in competition.

Don't know much about Hoy but he must be one hell of a sprinter if he is quicker than Robbie McEwan.

nesta said...

Well I've done my own research and Arnaud set his record at altitude in Mexico City - so no astericks for the Hoy boy if he achieves the record.

nesta said...

A bit more research has revealed that Hoy broke the sea level record whilst winning Gold at the Athens Olympics.

Why has he gone to Bolivia?

What has he got to prove?

Is it for ego or is there a financial incentive?

If you can Mimi could you explain just what the motivation is in regards to this out of competition record breaking attempt.

mimi said...

Thanks for explaining the altitude thing so succinctly nesta. From what I know of Chris Hoy, I think you are being over-cynical about this record attempt. I will need some time to work on the next piece, so I'll come back to it then. Also need to check up some things on Robbie before addressing that comment - very briefly, it's do with choices over which kind of cycle racing one wants to excel most at.

MotM said...

Nesta - I think Chris Hoy is in the clear. Cycling has run parallel world records for altitude and sea-level for a while I think and, since it's a time-trial, there's no artifice in going for the record in this way.

Some cyclists specialise on the track and others on the road. McEwan summons his sprint after 200km of racing, but with a lead out. Hoy goes from the gun, but for 199km (or 196km) fewer.

The road boys are mad too - see Abdujaparov, Cippollini and plenty others (including Robbie!)

mimi said...

Mouth: the road sprinters make track sprinting look like the cool quiet decision of a normal mind!
Robbie is the best end of stage sprinter I've ever seen - and I include latest hero Boonen in that. But as I said earlier, and will explore, cyclists make decisions about where they want to go, and there is not a Hoy vs McEwen debate of any validity because they chose different routes to stardom.

Anonymous said...

True Mimi.

I felt SuperMario behind the red Saeco train was pretty unstoppable and I'd have paid to see McEwan go up against the Terror of Tashkent.

MotM said...

Mimi - that was me - sorry about the anon bit.

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