Wiggins earns place in history with world hour record

07 June 2015 / 16:54

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Sir Bradley Wiggins won his battle with the clock to smash cycling's fabled world hour record in London.

Wiggins has four Olympic golds, six world titles and a Tour de France on a resume that has long secured his position among the pantheon of cycling greats.

But as a keen student of sporting history, he wanted to write his name alongside the likes of Coppi, Merckx and Anquetil and put the record beyond the reach of his current day rivals.

He covered 54.526 kilometres in an unmatched effort of endurance, over 1.6km further than former record holder Alex Dowsett managed in Manchester earlier this year. When Wiggins is in this form, any record must be on borrowed time.

And a capacity crowd of 5,500 - tickets for the event sold out in just seven minutes - roared him around more than 200 laps of the velodrome where so many similar memories were created two summers ago.

And Wiggins - rarely lost for words - seemed choked with emotion as the enormity of his achievement sank in.

"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," said Wiggins, who received his world record certificate from childhood hero Miguel Indurain.

"It was tortuous. I was constantly looking at the clock and I'm just really 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.

"I always compare myself to the greats and I'm so glad to be in the company of them. To get up there and put yourself on the line takes a lot of courage and it's a mental game more than anything.

"This just tops everything off. To be able to do everything I have and come here as an old man means so much.

"I never got to race on this track at the Olympics and it's just so memorable. The support was fantastic."

Wiggins is now focused on concluding his career with a fifth Olympic gold as part of Great Britain's team pursuit squad at next summer's Games in Rio.

But coach Heiko Salzwedel claimed this effort will always be seen as a career highlight, whatever the future holds and whatever happens to the record.

"That was one of the highlights of my career and Bradley's career," he said. 

"I will remember that for a lifetime. I could see he was running out of gas but he was fighting." 

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