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June 5, 2015 – Britain’s Bradley Wiggins hopes to break the UCI Hour Record in London this weekend and is aiming to set a mark that could stand for the next two decades.
The former Tour de France winner is widely expected to eclipse the 52.937 kilometers completed by countryman Alex Dowsett in Manchester at the start of last month. Wiggins has spoken of potentially breaking 55km, which would mean him covering slightly more than eight extra laps of the 250-meter track at the Lee Valley VeloPark, which hosted cycling events at the 2012 Olympics.
Since world governing body the UCI unified the regulations surrounding the event last year, four riders have held the record: Germany’s Jens Voigt, Matthias Brandle of Switzerland, Australian Rohan Dennis and Dowsett. However, Wiggins not only wants to add his name to a historic list of record-holders that includes Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain and Tony Rominger, but set a mark that will stand for years to come.
“You want the list to be the great names: Merckx, Indurain, Rominger. I want my name on that list,” he said.
“Great champions, like at the Tour. I want to be an hour record-holder and not just because they’ve put it back to 49 (kilometers) and wanting to get on the board like everyone else does. Because that’s what’s been happening. Whatever I do, I’d like it to create a buzz. Records get broken eventually, but 55 kilometers, I’m not sure. People will start failing. But I do hope they attempt it.”
“I’d like Tony Martin to think, ‘I’ll have a go at that.’ Or the next generation. If I can do 55 kilometers, it might not be broken for a long time, but it shouldn’t lie dormant for 20 years, no-one attacking it. Though at the moment I can’t see anyone. Rohan is 24, maybe in 10 years he can push it on.”
Wiggins, 35, is coming towards the end of a glorious career that has included a first ever British success in the Tour de France, in 2012, and four Olympic gold medals. Now, he wants to complete his list of achievements by adding the UCI Hour Record and team pursuit golds at next year’s World Championships in London and Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
To that end, he has relished the opportunity to prepare himself for the hour attempt over the past two months. “You’re like a one-man band,” he said. “You have kind of been the head of it for the last seven weeks, dictating to people that you’re going to do this, going to do that, you’re going to go out and train in Mallorca.
“You’re your own boss, really. It’s a lot easier, a hell of a lot easier. But at the end of the day, it has really been my project and I have had to take control and lead it, and have my own input and ideas. “So in that sense it has been a lot easier than being kind of dictated to, a lot more liberating. “I’ve never thought of it before, really, but there are probably three big targets left: this, next year’s World Track Championships here in March, and then the Rio Olympics. And that will be me.”