Wiggins taking triple gold aims in his stride
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wiggins taking triple gold aims in his stride

by Agence France-Presse at 6:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
The thought of putting his impressive endurance skills to the test on the world's biggest stage is just another day's work for Bradley Wiggins.

Britain's reigning individual pursuit champion, who at the Olympics will also bid for gold in the team event and the two-man Madison with Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish, is taking it all in his stride.

"Pressure? What is pressure?" Wiggins told the Team GB website. "It used to be such a big thing going to something like this or a world championships. We've just got used to going to the Olympics and Worlds. It is not such a big emotional surprise and you are aware of your capabilities."

It might appear arrogant to some, but Wiggins has every right to feel relaxed about what he will be required of him during his third Olympic campaign.

The Belgian-born Englishman is part of a British track squad that has realistic chances of winning over half of the 10 gold medals on offer at the Laoshan velodrome.

Having won nine of the 18 golds on offer at the 2008 world championships on their home track in Manchester in March - three of which came from Wiggins - the Brits' anticipated domination of the track events here is likely to leave them as their country's biggest Olympic achievers.

Four years after coming home from Athens with his maiden Olympic title, a silver from the team pursuit and a bronze from the Madison, Wiggins's bid for a further three golds could also make him his country's most decorated Olympic cyclist.

But having also experienced the humbling experience of fatherhood - he learned he was to be a father in Athens - Wiggins feels compelled to put his career into perspective.

"I was so young," the now 28-year-old said of his Athens experience. "A lot happened in such a short space of time, it was like a dream come true. Now I'm kind of like an elder statesman now in the British team." And fatherhood? "It has put cycling into perspective - at the time in Athens it meant everything to me. I am still very passionate but at the end of the day, it's only a sport."

Wiggins is a cornerstone of the British pursuit team - currently the world record holders - although the rest of the quartet has yet to be fully confirmed due mainly to the staging of the individual event the day before the team pursuit.

However there is no doubt who will partner Wiggins in the two-man Madison event. Cavendish, fresh from making history for Britain at the Tour de France, won the world title with Wiggins in Manchester. "Mark's come along at the right time for me in my career," said Wiggins. "He's taken the world by storm on the road, and he's managed to bring that onto the track as well. "He's the ideal partner for the Madison. Really, our strengths go together and we're by far the strongest."

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