AN exhausted Essex cyclist is still proud after he just missed out on reclaiming the UCI Hour Record in Mexico.

Maldon's Alex Dowsett just missed out on beating the record at cycling’s blue riband event last Wednesday at Mexico’s Aguascalientes Velodrome – despite setting a personal best distance of 54.555kms.

Having set a new record in Manchester six years ago amid cheers, last week’s conditions couldn’t have been more different as this attempt took place at altitude and was supported by just the small team who’d travelled to Mexico with the rider.

Since his 2015 ride there have been another 16 attempts by other riders on the Hour.

Alex had scheduled an earlier attempt at the record – again in Manchester – for last December but a positive Covid test scuppered that opportunity with just weeks to go.

Whilst the aim had always been to break the record again – Sir Bradley Wiggins snatched it off Dowsett after holding the title for just 36 golden days – Alex has always clearly stated that his aims were three-fold, to set the furthest distance ever in 60 minutes, to see just how far he could going whilst doing so and to raise awareness and funding for young haemophiliacs.

Alex said: “That’s as far as I can go and I’m proud of that and the distance I managed to cover today but the most important point today was the awareness that we’ve brought to haemophilia.

“The overriding message for young haemophiliacs, anyone with haemophilia, anyone with a rare condition, anyone facing any kind of adversities, just give it a shot because the biggest failure today would have been not being here.”

Having to help Alex manage the impact of the difficult blood condition since birth Dowsett’s parents had never tried to change his focus in finding an avenue for his talents.

Just 24 hours after the attempt, his dad Phil commented: “Honestly? I thought he had a 50/50 chance. Alex had always said to me that this would never be a walk in the park.

"We all agreed that it would have been worse for him not to try seeing everything else he’s had to overcome.”

Mum Jan added: “I can’t be anything but really so very, very proud. Alex and his partner Chanel put this attempt together, spending hours and hours finding sponsors and convincing others to provide other support.

"They’ve had to do some intense planning that others would have turned their back on.

"But this ride was really about others with haemophilia – and today that has been the winner”.

Early pacing suggested Alex was inside the record but as the number of 250m laps increased with about 25 minutes to go he started to feel less comfortable and less in control and the target distance just proved to be that little too far for the 33-year old.

After a day’s reflection Alex summed up: “The response since has been quite overwhelming - the JustGiving page now stands at over £47,000 compared with a target of £15,000. That’s quite phenomenal.

"I’m not walking away with the World Record but I am walking away with the satisfactory feeling that I had the World Record and that I’ve also shown the Hour Record what I can do. We’re good."