Wiggins says he may aim for world hour record
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wiggins says he may aim for world hour record

by VeloNation Press at 8:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Attempt could come next season, London Olympic velodrome would likely be used

Bradley WigginsHaving recently said that he was considering winding down his road career at the end of next season and then concentrating on a return to the track for the Rio Olympics, Bradley Wiggins has said there is a chance that he will try to break the world hour record.

Speaking to the Italian BiciSport magazine, the Briton talked about the lure of the prestigious track record. “The idea appeals to me,” he confirmed, saying that if the goal was achieved it could bring his career to a successful conclusion and also write “a new glorious page for British cycling.”

Compatriots Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman brought the record back into vogue in the 90s when they battled successful for several records. When the UCI changed its rules to standardise the equipment to be equivalent to that used by Eddy Merckx when he set his record, Boardman succeeded in setting a new mark.

Since then the Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka set a new mark of 49.7 kilometres in Moscow in 2005. A relative unknown, he tested positive for methamphetamine three years later and retired.

No attempt has been made on the record by a top rider in the years since, but there are indications that this may change.

In July RadioShack Leopard manager Luca Guercilena told the Swiss television station RSI that Cancellara would tackle the record in the new velodrome in Grenchen.

He said that the attempt would either occur after this year’s road worlds or else after Cancellara’s 2014 Classics campaign.

In June Wiggins’ mentor Shane Sutton said that he didn’t consider it likely that Wiggins would chase the hour record. “I don’t think so. I can’t see that,” he told VeloNation.

“It is something I have never discussed it with him, and I have never heard anyone talk about the hour record. I’m pretty sure it’s well within his capabilities, but I don’t think that is the sort of thing that would motivate Brad after winning the Tour de France.”

However in the two months since then Wiggins has done a lot of thinking and appears to be moving further and further away from thoughts of staying on the road past 2014.

Ten days ago he told the Times that he would do just one more year, then focus on the velodrome. “I'm going to continue to the next Olympics and try for a fifth gold on the track. That's the plan,” he said. “Having lost weight and muscle the last few years, I wouldn't be able to walk back into that team pursuit squad, so I'm not taking it for granted. But I am working towards that. It would be nice to finish the career with another Olympic gold.”

It appears the hour record is also a goal between now and when he hangs up his wheels. “It would be wonderful to attempt the record in the London velodrome, known from the Olympic Games,” he told Bicisport.

He didn’t give an indication as to when the attempt would be made, but suggested it could come as soon as next year.

Depending on the timing and also if Cancellara is successful, it is possible that Wiggins would not be chasing Sosenka’s mark but rather one set by the multiple world time trial champion.


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