Now that Jens Voigt has set a new benchmark in the hour record, interest has been stirred up in the pro ranks for the UCI-revamped race against the clock. Having been out of professional cycling for almost a decade, previous record holder Czech Ondřej Sosenka made official on Thursday that in 2015 he plans to try to reclaim the record he held for more than nine years. Interestingly enough he has been planning the new attempt even before the UCI announced the changes early this summer, with his recent successful partnership with Czech bike builder Festka giving him newfound motivation. Date and place haven’t been settled yet, but when Voigt set the new record Sosenka got a call from Czech Velodrome designer Peter Junek about trying on one of his tracks, like Sangalhos, Portugal, or in Boulder, CO.
Join us after the break for a bit more on his attempt and that new bike…
Sosenka will ride a slightly more aero track version of Festka’s newly announced custom tube-to-tube carbon ONE. The One developed around the idea of a single set of light carbon tubing designed to be tuned as one, and was developed exclusively for Festka with the cooperation of their composites partner CompoTech, world-renown for their work in racing yachts and motorsports. Each tube is robot-woven in the Czech Republic and then hand mitered and built-up in their shop on Prague. The bike uses round profile stays, head tube and seatpost with the top and down tubes woven over shaped mandrels. The resulting tubes are 60% stiffer than their previous Zero frame tubing allowing for a lighter overall weight. The only metal part used on the bike is then an in-house machined set of titanium drop outs. Because of the method of construction the One is able to be totally customized for geometry, stiffness, ride quality, or even an integrated seat mast for no additional cost. The completely custom frame will set you back $4000. We’ll tell you more as soon as we know.
For Sosenka’s record attempt, a new set of 205mm titanium cranks are also being custom developed by Festka with their ti partner and the brains behind the old Morati brand who we interviewed in the spring. With those big cranks 2m/6’-7” Sosenka will benefit from the added stiffness of modern wider bottom brackets, a point seriously lacking on the conventional carbon tubed frame he rode a decade ago. Wheels will be the lightweight full carbon disc wheels that Festka has been developing over the past year under their Rocket Wheels brand. Sosenka will also wear clothing from High Voltage, another Festka offshoot that we’ll get more into later this year.
I had a chance to ride with Ondřej Sosenka in a Rapha Gentlemen’s Race earlier this year in Munich, and he said then that he was anxious to see the opening up of the UCI regulations. With Festka’s lugged carbon Zero, he was finally happy to be riding a light bike truly developed for his size and power output, with tubes specifically made to suit him by Compo Tech.
Sosenka says he is happy to see the recent interest in the hour record, even if it meant the fall of his previous record. He thinks his previous record will be still remembered as the best performance on a traditional non-aero Merckx-style bike. He welcomes the interest of a new generation and the chance to compare his efforts to a new pool of elite riders.