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the prototype was enough for the commissaire to lose interest. Obree’s
camp also “gamed” the commissaires for the Hour Record bid, for the same
reaaon. The myth that Boardman was living well of his winnings during this
period is also exploded – he couldn’t work because of the training, or sign-on
to the dole because he wasn’t available to work and had to be supported
by his wife, though his club paid his racing expenses and he was provided
with kit.

The commercial difficulties are also explained- Boardman’s bike sponsor
Ribble’s legal action against Lotus over Boardman riding the Lotus bike in
the Olympics, instead of one of their bikes and Vic Haines falling-out with
Obree after the Hour Record. The problems of getting the owners of the
Bordeaux velodrome to allow the event to take place there, also required
some Macchievelian persuasion/playing off conflicting interests. On the more
traditional side, Peter Keen originally calculated Boardman would have to
average 430 watts for an hour to take Moser’s Hour Record – at that
point Boardman couldn’t even hold 400 watts for 10 minutes… (Keen also
calculated later, that it would take 473 watts constant output on a
“Merckx era” bike to break the Hour Record Boardman had set earlier. He
also calculated that, to equal world record pace, Boardman would need to
hold 409 watts on his Lotus bike in his usual position (87.5% of his V02Max
of 88) but only 394 watts in Obree’s Tuck position.) Surprisingly,
Boardman’s pet sports-scientist left school with 2 poor A-levels, only
getting the sports-science bug later.

Boardman’s continental road career is also analysed, with input from former
GAN team manager Roger Legeay who observes that Boardman’s major
weakness in stage races was his relative lack of technical bunch riding skills,
which saw him wasting energy instead of burying himself in the heart of the
peloton and saving it!

I hope this has whetted your appetite - there’s plenty more information in
the book!

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