Olympic24: Wiggins eyes final flourish as Oxford rule again

12 April 2015 / 09:49

Sir Bradley Wiggins eyes up perfect finale in Team Sky colours as Oxford once again rule over Cambridge on the Thames. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Bradley Wiggins set to take on the Paris-Roubaix one-day race
  • Oxford make it four wins in the last five University Boat Races against Cambridge
  • Dani King wins on return from injury
  • Jan Bartu is philosophical after action-packed World Cup in Rome

Wiggins set for Team Sky finale

Sir Bradley Wiggins will race for Team Sky for the last time in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, but the Olympic time trial champion insists he is not taking a fairytale ending for granted.

Since joining Team Sky for their inaugural season in 2010, Wiggins has been one of the brightest lights in the world of cycling with 2012 a particular highlight.

It was in that year that Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour de France before going on to claim time trial gold at the London Olympics.

And Wiggins will bring his time with Team Sky to an end on Sunday in the Paris-Roubaix one-day race.

Known as 'the Hell of the North', it is a 253.5-kilometres race through the World War One battlefields of northern France, the brutal test featuring 27 sections of cobbles totalling 53km.

The race finishes in the Roubaix Velodrome, where Wiggins dreams of glory – even if he knows that is easier said than done.

"Everyone says, 'oh you can win Roubaix and have this fairy tale ending' but it's not as easy as that," Wiggins told cyclingnews.com.

"I mean I'd love to win, I'm not here saying that I'd accept ninth place, but to have a clean run through the race, to have no crashes.

"To come on to that velodrome with all my peers, I'm getting too nostalgic but that's a huge part of it."

Oxford beat Cambridge on the Thames

Oxford claimed their fourth win over Cambridge in five years in a supreme show of strength in the 161st men's boat race.

President Constantine Louloudis claimed a fourth and final boat race victory for the Dark Blues, completing a clean sweep only interrupted by claiming bronze with Team GB's men's eight at London 2012.

After Oxford's women breezed past Cambridge on their historic first battle on The Tideway course, their male counterparts made it a Dark Blue double with victory by six-and-a-half lengths.

Oxford's men secured the same victory margin as their female counterparts on a clear day of dominance.

Outgoing Oxford president Louloudis hailed the victory, admitting he felt far more pressure than ever before, despite boasting three previous wins.

"I felt much more pressure this year, especially as I was leaving the guys," Louloudis told BBC Sport.

"There were some pretty dark moments going in but I'm so pleased for the guys. We just stuck to our plan and executed a really good race."

King makes comeback in style

Olympic track champion Dani King won the first stage of the Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland - her first race after five months out injured.

Wiggle Honda rider King beat fellow British rider Katie Archibald on Saturday in a sprint finish.

The 24-year-old suffered eight broken ribs and a collapsed lung in November while on a regular training ride in south Wales.

"I'm so happy to have won after everything that's happened," said King. "I wanted an aggressive race and had planned to attack, but Katie went so early I knew I'd have to go with it.”

 Bartu philosophical after action-packed Rome World Cup 

Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu insisted it was far from doom and gloom after two incident-packed finals for his at World Cup 3 in Rome.

Tom Toolis finished 17th in his first senior men's final on Saturday, making him the top-placed Brit ahead of Nick Woodbridge in 20th, Joe Evans in 26th and Joe Choong in 27th.

But Bartu added that a possible problem with the laser scoring system in the combined run/shoot had contributed to Freyja Prentice missing out on a top-ten finish in the women's final on Friday.

Prentice finished 17th while Kate French – who was eliminated in the ride after four refusals – was 33rd.

"We were expecting to be a bit more towards the top but I take a philosophical view about these things," said Bartu.

"The girls had some really bad luck and sometimes that happens. Kate had a dismal ride but she is usually one of the top riders in the competition, so that was unusual to see.

"Freyja was having a good day and was well placed going into the combined event but she timed out on the fourth shoot, which was most likely due to a failure with the laser scoring system, and that ruined her day.

"As for the men, it was very good to see all four of them reach the final but it was an uphill struggle for them after the fencing, we expected better results from that.

"They fought back with some good swimming and riding performances, and for Tom Toolis to finish 17th in his first senior final was a very respectable result – congratulations to him on that."

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