Sir Bradley Wiggins breaks cycling hour record at Lee Valley Velodrome
- Credit: PA
In his own words, Sir Bradley Wiggins has “raised the bar” after smashing the world record for the furthest distance travelled in an hour by bicycle.
Cementing his place as one of the country’s greatest sportsmen, “Wiggo” covered a gargantuan 54.526km at the Lee Valley Velodrome on Sunday, beating previous record holder and fellow Briton Alex Rowsett who cycled 52.937km just last month.
The iconic hour record has been tackled by cycling greats at various intervals throughout the years, but “Sir Brad” is confident his new distance – the longest ever set – will make his peers think twice about having a go.
“That’s raised the bar a fair bit from what the existing record was,” he said after the gruelling ride. “For sure it will deter people a bit or will make them think twice about it.”
But, proving himself as much a cycling fan as he is one of its greatest ever proponents, he added: “It would be nice if someone does attack it in the next year. It would be great for the record [itself].”
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A sell-out crowd of 6,000 people – most sporting a red and blue Team Wiggins cap on their heads – cheered on the former Tour de France and Olympic champion, echoing scenes of London 2012 when Team GB stormed the cycling medals table.
Although on that occasion Wiggins was out on the Surrey hills rather than riding the wooden boards of the velodrome.
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“The noise was phenomenal – you couldn’t fail to hear it,” he said, adding that a music playlist he had put together to help him along was entirely drowned out by the sound.
Meticulous preparation meant the beard had to go and it was a freshly shaven and cropped Wiggins who mounted the Pinarello that would transport him to the history books.
While every controllable variable had been aligned, the only thing out of the cycling superstar’s reach – the weather – let him down.
Hot and humid conditions, made worse by the fact that automatic windows which open when the velodrome reaches 27C had been turned off to prevent a crosswind on the track, added to an already difficult task.
But there were no regrets with Wiggins saying he delivered “the performance that I had” on the day.
“If I was to do it again I couldn’t really have done much more,” he added. “I think I got the pace judgement absolutely spot on. I red-lined it the whole way.”