His best time ever? 57.8 seconds at sea level. Soon, at an altitude of about two kilometers in Aguiscalientes, Mexico, in the same place where Eddy Merckx and Thomas Dekker, among others, attacked the world hour record, things will go even faster. There’s no doubt about that for 30-year-old cyclist Jeffrey Hoagland.
The European and world kilometer champion looks completely at ease in the Omisport Apeldoorn restaurant. Hoagland has just finished one of his last training sessions before leaving for Central America. The instructions were shared with the press in advance. Do not shake hands, no, rather you prefer not to approach the knight. If you have complaints, stay home and do a self-test for coronavirus beforehand.
Hoagland is clearly committed to breaking Francois Pervis’ world record on Tuesday, as his time of 56.3 seconds dates back to 2013. His home renovation has been completed and friends and parties have recently been cancelled.
Driving really fast
“I don’t know why I’m trying this,” Hoagland says. The world record for a kilometer is less highly regarded than an hour. “I want to set a time, and put my name at the top of the list. It’s my legacy. People in the future will still say: ‘Wow, Hoogland always drove so fast every kilometre.’ It’s good that my name lives on.”
Hoagland used to find the kilometer, a non-Olympic event, terrifying. The effort that only took a minute was so painful, he had to cross his pain threshold and beyond. “Blind exercise, that’s all. Shocking from start to finish.”
That picture changed when Hoagland turned out to be good at it. So good, in fact, that he can now call himself a four-time world champion. “The average person, who exercises regularly, has no idea how deep I go. They never get close to it themselves. It’s very specific, the whole body is screaming at you to stop. I’ve trained for years to turn that pain away.”
According to Hoagland, the world record attempt is separate from the tensions within a successful running team. During the World Championships in Glasgow, he said the team, consisting of Harry Lavresen, Roy van den Berg and himself, were working more and more individually. Lafresne, in turn, said Hoagland was too busy with other things, such as renovating his house. It was every man for himself.
This is also reflected in the steering. Hoogland is training under Mehdi Kordi, and Lafresne is once again under the wing of the returning Hugo Huck.
“I don’t want to discuss it any further,” Hoagland says more than two months later. “There is nothing wrong, our mutual relationship is just good. We are the three strongest runners in the world. Put us together and we have a chance to win the gold medal at the Paris Games.
Hoagland believes the training motivation in the lead-up to his record attempt will actually help him reach the Olympics. “During training I was criticized every time by Harry. I had to work on myself to get back to the level I needed. That’s why this is perfect. I have a peak moment where I have to be really good. Then we continue training at a high level in Paris.” “. “Maybe I can finally give Harry his due,” he joked.
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