Time-trial will be a 'doddle' - Wiggins
Olympic cycling: Bradley Wiggins exuded confidence today ahead of tomorrow’s London 2012 time-trial at Hampton Court Palace where he will seek a fourth Olympic gold and a British record seventh Games medal.
The 32-year-old Londoner became the first British winner of the Tour de France on July 22nd. It was a victory that owed much to his proficiency against the clock, as he won the stage nine and stage 19 time-trials by significant margins, and Wiggins does not believe the Tour or last Saturday’s 250-kilometre road race, in which he worked fruitlessly in support of Mark Cavendish, will impact on his bid to overtake Steve Redgrave as the Britain’s most decorated Olympian.
“The Tour is such a good boot camp for this,” said Wiggins ahead of the 44km test, where he will be seeking to become the first man to win the Tour and Olympic gold in the same year. “This is going be a piece of piss now compared to that. It’s just an hour and not three weeks. It’s been the best preparation.
“That’s the baseline of worst-case scenario of pressure and expectation, with three weeks lying ahead of you. And we handled that pretty well, so an hour time-trial to make history should be a doddle.”
Wiggins, whose first assessment of the 44km Hampton Court route took place yesterday, believes his 53.5km stage 19 win in Chartres, which all-but confirmed his Tour triumph, was the best performance against the clock of his career.
“The benchmark is there from Chartres,” he added. “Nothing is going to change from that performance. I have 100 per cent faith in the training Tim (Kerrison, the Team Sky coach) has set me.
“I’ve done enough now to realise that it is not all suddenly going to collapse on Tuesday night and that I’m going to be a pile of shit on Wednesday. My performances have been so consistent all year and I’ve no reason to think that is going to change.”
Wiggins’s Sky team-mate Chris Froome was second to him on both those stages in France and should be contender tomorrow as well.
Defending Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and world champion Tony Martin of Germany had departed the Tour by that stage, but were handsomely beaten in Besancon earlier in the race.
Cancellara crashed during the opening day’s road race and will ride through the pain barrier tomorrow, while Martin withdrew from the Tour with a wrist injury which he is still nursing.
Wiggins, who was second to Martin in Copenhagen last September, is unconcerned about his rivals, though.
The three-time Olympic track champion said: “The main thing is that I am on track and that is really all that matters. I’ll just go out there and do the performance - I have done so well all year in time-trials - and see if you are good enough on the day. I can’t predict what they are going to do.”