Wiggins backed for medal success

29 July 2012 / 13:45

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has been backed to overhaul Sir Steve Redgrave's record haul of Olympic medals as Great Britain's men road cyclists seek to respond from their opening day road race disappointment.

World champion Mark Cavendish began the 250-kilometre road race, which featured nine ascents of Surrey's Box Hill, as one of the favourites, but in a race difficult to control Britain fell short and the Manxman finished 29th.

Wiggins did his utmost to help Cavendish to victory, but will now turn to his personal bid to add to his six Olympic medals, three of them gold, in Wednesday's Hampton Court time-trial.

David Millar told BBC Sport: "Brad against the world when they're all on their own, he can wrap that up.

"He's got such incredible form and he's in such good spirits. I think we'll get our gold medal there."

Cavendish's bid for victory was ultimately undone when Britain were unable to chase down a breakaway on the final run-in to The Mall and Kazakhstan's Alexandr Vinokourov won gold.

Cavendish was proud of his team-mates afterwards and road captain Millar insisted Britain could do no more.

"There's no other team that could've done what we attempted to do," Millar added.

"I don't think we could've done anything differently.

"We just ran out of legs. We did exactly what we planned, but the whole race was against us.

"We did everything we could. I don't think there's anything to reproach ourselves, but it's disappointing."

Wiggins, Millar, Chris Froome and Ian Stannard worked tirelessly at the front of the peloton in an effort to put Cavendish in position, but the tactic did not pay off.

It remains to be seen if the effort, coming six days after the Tour's conclusion and with three days' rest before the time-trial, has an impact on Wiggins and Froome, who is the second British entrant in the 44km race against the clock.

Wiggins's Tour time-trial performances, his wins in Besancon and Chartres, which all but confirmed him as the first British winner of the yellow jersey suggested he is in the form to add to his haul of Olympic medals.

Froome finished second on each of those stages and could also challenge for a medal.

Asked about his energy levels, Froome said: "At the moment the tank is empty. I'll be able to tell when I wake up on Wednesday morning.

"Each and every one of us buried ourselves to try to keep the race together.

"It's a shame we couldn't hold it together for Mark, but that's bike racing."