by Stephen White
Bradley Wiggins has added the UCI Hour Record to his Tour of Britain and Tour de France titles.
The 35-year old smashed the previous record held by fellow Brit Alex Dowsett, by covering 54.526km (33.88 miles) at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London yesterday.
The fifth rider to break the record in nine months, Wiggins had to surpass Dowsett’s distance of 52.526km (32.89 miles) in order to clinch the discipline’s top spot and demonstrate an unmatched level of endurance.
Tickets for the event sold out within seven minutes of being issued on general release, ensuring a capacity crowd was present to roar Sir Brad around the track at VeloPark.
The team WIGGINS rider cut a less recognisable figure as he climbed onto the saddle, head shawn and stripped of its iconic facial hair in a bid to maximise aerodynamics. Wiggo also lost his trademark composure in the aftermath of crossing the finish line as the weight of his achievement sank in and his world record certificate was handed to him by childhood hero and Tour giant, Miguel Indurain.
“I’m just glad it’s done, it’s the closest I’ll ever come to knowing what it’s like to have a baby,” Wiggo jested.
“It was tortuous. I was constantly looking at the clock and I’m just relieved that it’s done because it’s been such a long build-up. When you are out there you never think it’s going to come to an end,” he continued.
The accomplishment puts Wiggins among five other riders including Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain to have won the Tour de France and broken the hour record.
“I always compare myself to the greats and I am just glad to be in the company of those guys,” the new title holder confessed.
“To get up there and do that, to put yourself on the line, takes a lot of courage and it’s a mental game as much as anything. This just tops everything off, to be able to do everything I have and come here as an old man means so much,” he added.
This ‘old man’ is now setting his sights on a further stellar achievement - a fifth Olympic gold with Great Britain’s team pursuit squad at the Games in Rio next year.