Wiggins blows away the field, takes Olympic time trial gold
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wiggins blows away the field, takes Olympic time trial gold

by Kyle Moore at 11:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Olympics
Martin 42 seconds back in second, Froome third, Phinney fourth again

Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins (Great Britain) continued his dominant 2012 season on Wednesday in London, burying the rest of the Olympic time trial field almost from the start, running away with a 42-second win over Tony Martin of Germany. Wiggins blasted the 44-kilometre time trial in 50 minutes, 39 seconds.

Wiggins’ trade team-mate and Tour de France runner-up Chris Froome was third, to put two British riders on the podium. Wiggins’ gold medal was the seventh of his career and the second for Great Britain in these Olympics.

Similar to Kristin Armstrong’s run to gold earlier in the morning, Wiggins was fastest at each of the two main time checks. He managed the adrenaline and pressure of riding in front of the home crowd very well, getting off to a modest start, actually five seconds behind Martin after seven kilometres.

But from there, the British star cranked it up, and he was 12 seconds ahead of the German at the first real check after 18km. At the 29km point, Wiggins had added ten more seconds to his advantage, with 22 seconds over Martin and 42 ahead of Froome.

Agonizingly, American rider Taylor Phinney finished fourth again, after taking the same place in the road race on Saturday. The 22-year-old has a bright future ahead, but will no doubt be downtrodden after another finish just off the podium.

"I cannot put it into words. I wouldn't do it justice. It was really incredible," Wiggins marveled afterward. "To win an Olympic gold in your home city is incredible. When you win in the velodrome, there are three or four thousand people cheering. Here, around the streets of London, the noise is just amazing. I don't think anything will top that. It's just been phenomenal.

"I don't think my sporting career will ever top this now. That's it. It will never, never get better than that. Incredible.

"It had to be gold today or nothing," Wiggins insisted. "What's the point of seven medals if they're not the right colour? The main number is that is gold number four. So I have got to carry on to Rio now and make it five. Just to be mentioned in the same breath as Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy is very special."

With all but the final few riders going off at 90-second intervals, the action went off hot and quick early. Lars Bak (Denmark), Jack Bauer (New Zealand), and Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) were the top names early on, setting the quickest times after 18 kilometres.

In the start house, with a terrible bout of bad luck, Luis León Sánchez (Spain) saw his threat end before he had even moved a meter. Sanchez’ chain snapped as he was putting power to the crank for the very first time. The team car hadn’t set off yet and a bike change was slow in coming. Sanchez would eventually change bikes again later on course, and though four riders started behind him, most would eventually pass him on the route.

Sanchez’ countryman Jonathan Castroviejo would do his best to represent his nation, setting all the best marks early on, eventually taking the leader’s throne with a final time of 53’29”. Phinney took to the start house with rousing applause coming from the English-speaking crowd. But the noise paled in comparison to the ovation Wiggins received upon setting off, the Tour de France champion now the odds on favourite for a gold medal.

Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) set solid times but could not match Castroviejo, who was unchallenged until Michael Rogers (Australia) blazed through. Any time that the Australian set was soon knocked down by Froome, who was the quickest at all checks until Martin came through later.

Though riding well, Phinney was humbled by Froome at every check. As Brajkovic was setting the new best time at the finish, Phinney was riding through the first intermediate check ahead of Rogers but behind Froome. Martin went the quickest at 18km only to be bested by Wiggins. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) was last man to start as defending champion, but a shoulder injury sustained in the road race proved too much to overcome. The Swiss star set solid times, but would not challenge the leader board throughout the day.

Martin had Phinney in sight at the second time check, but the German could not use the carrot to make any inroads on Wiggins’ advantage. The Brit went past Sanchez, who had nothing more than the Olympic spirit to ride for. At the finish, Rogers finally knocked Castroviejo off the top step. Denis Menchov (Russia) and defending silver medalist Gustav Larsson (Sweden) were no challenge, while Bert Grabsch (Germany) came though to the finish in second place.

Froome was next to finish, posting a 51’47”, a full minute faster than Rogers. Marco Pinotti (Italy) came though with a respectable time, as did Phinney, who was 11 seconds faster than the Italian.

The trend from both time checks held all the way to the finish. Martin momentarily grabbed the lead before Wiggins sprinted home, dominating the time trial as he has all summer.

Cancellara defended valiantly, salvaging seventh with a painful left side.

Olympic Men's Time Trial (44km):

1 WIGGINS Bradley (Great Britain) 50:39.54
2 MARTIN Tony (Germany) 51:21.54
3 FROOME Christopher (Great Britain) 51:47.87
4 PHINNEY Taylor (United States) 52:38.07
5 PINOTTI Marco (Italy) 52:49.28
6 ROGERS Michael (Australia) 52:51.39
7 CANCELLARA Fabian (Switzerland) 52:53.71
8 GRABSCH Bert (Germany) 53:18.04
9 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan (Spain) 53:29.36
10 BRAJKOVIC Janez (Slovenia) 54:09.72
11 WESTRA Lieuwe (Netherlands) 54:19.62
12 KIRYIENKA Vasil (Belarus) 54:30.29
13 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (Norway) 54:30.87
14 BAK Lars Ytting (Denmark) 54:33.21
15 FUGLSANG Jakob (Denmark) 54:34.49
16 LARSSON Gustav (Sweden) 54:35.26
17 GILBERT Philippe (Belgium) 54:39.98
18 OLIVEIRA Nelson (Portugal) 54:41.57
19 BAUER Jack (New Zealand) 54:54.16
20 MENCHOV Denis (Russia) 54:59.26
21 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas (Lithuania) 55:12.32
22 BOOM Lars (Netherlands) 55:29.74
23 VINOKUROV Alexandr (Kazakhstan) 55:37.05
24 BEPPU Fumiyuki (Japan) 55:40.64
25 BODNAR Maciej (Poland) 55:49.67
26 NAZARET Magno Prado (Brazil) 55:50.77
27 McCANN David (Ireland) 56:03.77
28 HESJEDAL Ryder (Canada) 56:06.18
29 CHAVANEL Sylvain (France) 56:07.67
30 ALBASINI Michael (Switzerland) 56:38.38
31 BAZAYEV Assan (Kazakhstan) 56:40.77
32 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon (Spain) 56:59.16
33 GIL MARTINEZ Tomas Aurelio (Venezuela) 57:05.12
34 LAHSAINI Mouhcine (Morocco) 57:25.24
35 DUARTE Fabio (Colombia) 57:34.20
36 HAGHI Alireza (Iran) 57:41.44
37 AKDILEK Ahmet (Turkey) 59:11.19


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