Sir Dave Brailsford expects Sir Bradley Wiggins to become the next British rider to break the UCI Hour record when he attempts next month to beat Alex Dowsett’s distance of 52.937 kilometres, set in Manchester on Saturday. Wiggins himself says he aims to set a record that will endure for two decades.
Brailsford, who worked with Wiggins for more than a decade as he amassed four Olympic gold medals with Team GB and won the Tour de France for Team Sky, says Wiggins is a rider who can focus on a goal and deliver “time and time again.”
The Team Sky principal told Sky Sports News HQ: "Bradley is going well. He has been training on the pace that he hopes to hold for an hour.
"He has been working back at the Manchester velodrome, so he is in very good hands. It is building up to a big event on June 7, there is going to be a capacity crowd, it is live on TV and I think everybody is expecting him to set the bar.
"When you expect to see a fantastic performance it's often difficult to deliver and execute that performance to that level but Bradley is one of the few people who time and time again can do that. It's going to be exciting."
Speaking of former Team Sky rider Dowsett’s record-breaking ride at the National Cycling Centre at the weekend, he said: "I was impressed by Alex's effort.
“Alex is a nice guy and he prepared with great detail. He has been really focused on this hour record. It suits him, he is a great time-triallist.”
"The performance that he put in there was super, great for British cycling, great for Alex and it's set the bar for Bradley really."
Wiggins himself has said that if he does beat the distance set by the Movistar rider when he launches his own attempt at the Lee Valley Velopark on 7 June, he hopes Dowsett will come back for another go later this year.
The world time trial champion said on Sunday he has been training towards a distance of 54 kilometres, “but it could go one kilometre further or 500 metres shorter depending on conditions on the day.”
Inviting Dowsett and other riders such as Etixx-Quick Step’s Tony Martin to try and beat the record should he push it further next month, he added: “I’d hate it that everyone is trying to get the record before I go for it because they think that’ll be it for years.”
In a subsequent interview, however, he has been much more bullish about his prospects, claiming he can set a benchmark that can last for two decades.
In an interview with The Times [£], he said: "I don't just want to break it, I want to put it right up there, as far out of reach as I can.
"I've got 55 kilometres in my head and I believe that's realistic, and I think if I do that it will stand for 20 years.
"I don't see it as being any harder than climbing the Ventoux to save fourth place in the Tour de France," he continued, referring to the penultimate day of the 2009 race.
"I can't see it being any harder than keeping concentration for three weeks to win the Tour, or riding around Hampton Court with the weight of expectation to win Olympic gold.
"I've been in a lot of pressure situations, I know what I can do. The challenge is dealing with the heat, the crowd, pacing yourself early when the crowd is egging you on," he added.
Wiggins also told Sky Sports that he was happy with his choice of venue. “There were quite a few world records established at the London Olympics. It’s a fast track and if we can get the conditions right, it’s probably the best place to do it.”
He also said that the record attempt would be as much a test of will as anything else.
“The last 15 minutes of a record like this are kind of just on pure will. That’s the worst part of the record – as everyone who has done the record has said – and then you get to the stage where you’re just hanging on for grim death and that’s really the biting point.
“So 40 to 45 minutes just to get an idea of; kind of getting close to the edge of death, that 15th round – like the Thrilla in Manila.”
Yep, and the EOT will have gone too.
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