Wiggins power-meters his way to silver

COPENHAGEN (VN) — For Bradley Wiggins, Wednesday's elite men's time trial wasn't a race against the clock, it was a race against the power meter.

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2011 UCI World Road Championships, men's elite time trial.
Bradley Wiggins rode to second. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

COPENHAGEN (VN) — For Bradley Wiggins, Wednesday’s elite men’s time trial wasn’t a race against the clock, it was a race against the power meter.

Rather than try to pace himself against time references, British star put a number on his SRM power meter and targeted that.

Related: Full results with splits (.pdf)

“We decided to choose a power and target that. We got so much data from TTs. A couple of TTs I’ve gone out way too hard and paid the price. Today we decided to pick a power, target that for the first half, and try to up it a little bit on the second lap,” Wiggins said, without revealing his power numbers. “I believe we got it all out today. That worked out perfect and I think I will try that more for the future.”

Wiggins has always been known for doing things his way. The new tactic proved fruitful and he was the only rider out of the entire 65-rider field who was stronger on his second of two, 23km laps on the Copenhagen course.

Wiggins said he chose not to compete with a race radio, something he said has little value during a time trial.

“I find it a bit distracting. It shouldn’t change how I ride for one hour; I had a plan and stuck to that plan. Whether you’re up or down, (race radio) doesn’t change how you can perform,” Wiggins said. “Also, you really have to trust the person giving you the information as well. This year, a few times, I’ve had people lying to me to make me feel better, so I would rather just go in my own world.”

For Wiggins, already one of the most accomplished track endurance riders, his silver was, somewhat surprisingly, his first in world championship competition on the road. His previously best TT result was seventh in Madrid in 2005.

“I didn’t really expect anything, to be honest, I knew I was in great form from the Vuelta,” Wiggins said. “I was getting better all the time since my crash in July. I knew I was on a good ride. You always hope to get a medal, and on the right day, maybe to win it. It would take something special to beat Tony today. It was another level for Tony.”

Wiggins, who crashed out of the 2011 Tour with a broken clavicle, takes encouragement from his performance Wednesday, coming less than two weeks after finishing third on the Vuelta a España podium.

Wiggins wanted to use the Vuelta-worlds combination as a test for next year’s double-whammy of the Tour de France and Olympic Games in London.

“It shows that I’ve recovered from a grand tour pretty quickly, so to do that day, to do podium in grand tour and 7-8 days later produce threshold power like that (is good)” he said. “I am just trying to enjoy it now. It’s certainly good news that I can ride a Vuelta, competing day-in, day-out, then to back it up with a ride like in the world championships.”

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