Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins became his country's second gold medalist of the 2012 Olympic Games, and the most successful ever British Olympian after winning the men's time trial at Hampton Court Palace, London, this afternoon. Wiggins finished ahead of time trial world champion Tony Martin (Germany) and Chris Froome (Great Britain) to secure the seventh Olympic medal of his career and his fourth gold.
Tour de France winner Wiggins, who is unbeaten in full time trials during 2012, won by a margin of 42 seconds amid jubilant scenes in London, capping a dream year for the 32-year-old.
"I cannot put it into words. I wouldn't do it justice. It was really incredible," Wiggins said. "To win an Olympic gold in your home city. When you win in the velodrome, there are three or four thousand people cheering. Here, around the streets of London, the noise is just amazing. I don't think anything will top that. I've just won the Tour de France. It's just been phenomenal."
The crowds were apoplectic at witnessing a gold medal performance by the reigning Tour de France champion. Together with the stunning backdrop of Hampton Court Palace and its grounds, it was a magic moment that made up for other lost moments for Wiggins. "I was trying to savour it. I have no memories of my other Olympics. I was either too young or it was over too quick. There is not much better than this setting, with that castle, it's so British, isn't it? The sun came out, it was just fantastic."
Martin had set his focus on the time of Wiggins, but as the gap to his time checks grew larger and larger, the German had to pin his effort to keeping silver over Froome.
"[Wiggins] was unbeatable today and I respect this. No one can beat him, a bit like I was like last year," the reigning world champion said.
In third, Froome said he was buoyed by the crowds which let out deafening roars for them as they passed. "The crowds were phenomenal. Even after the experience of the Tour de France, I didn't expect anything like this today. Everyone out there knew our names and they were just telling us to go faster. You cannot slow down when you've got something like that behind you.
"To come away with the bronze and knowing that Brad won gold, I don't think we could ask for too much today. It's quite something special."
American Taylor Phinney was on the bubble again as he was in the road race, taking fourth place, just over 50 seconds behind Froome.
"I'm heartbroken again," he said, then quickly turning more positive. "Fourth is great for me, but it's so close to a medal and the top three is all that matters. When I think about last year, 15th in Copenhagen (at time trial world championships), fourth is definitely good for me.
"[Wiggins] is definitely someone I look up to. He's got 10 years on me. It will be a dream to reach the level he's at in 10 years' time."
Defending Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) was not in his best form and could not contend with the leaders. He finished in seventh behind Marco Pinotti (Italy), fifth, and Michael Rogers (Australia) in sixth.
"I started good but on the other hand I knew that the shoulder wasn't maybe how it should be," Cancellara said. "I did what I could, the maximum, and 100 percent. That makes me happy."
Sun shines on the empire
The skies cleared up and temperatures rose just in time for the men's time trial to begin. While the skies were gray and light rain fell on the women, when Mouhcine Lahsaini (Morocco) took to the ramp blue skies heralded a glorious moment to come for Great Britain. But the fans would have wait two hours to welcome home their heroes.
The first significant time of the day came from Denmark's Lars Bak, who eclipsed earlier starter Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan) by 1:07 in a 54:33.21 to take the middle seat on the dais while the later starters battled on course.
Bak's time held for roughly seven minutes before Slovenian Janez Brajkovic came through in 54:09.72 to knock him down a step with more than half the field left to finish.
There was a surprise from the young Spaniard Jonathan Castroviejo, who next took the best time at 53:29.36, while at the same moment Spanish time trial champion Luis Leon Sanchez was cruising along near the slowest performances of the day, his medal hopes dashed by multiple mechanicals, including a snapped chain as he left the start house.
Castroviejo could be fairly confident he would not be on the final podium as the intermediate checks began coming in: he was knocked back consistently by the bigger-named time trial specialists at each mark.
It wasn't until Rogers came through that he was unseated, however, but even the three-time time trial world champion knew his chances were slim for a medal as four of the remaining riders were quicker than him at the 30km split. Froome was the first to unseat him, going more than a minute faster than the Australian - to thunderous roar from the partisan crowd.
Taylor Phinney came through next, having passed Sanchez along the route to set the second best time with 52:38.07, but his stay in the hot seat would not last long: the next rider through the line was Martin, whose 51:21.54 made the home crowds gasp as he knocked Chris Froome down a peg, but their joy soon returned as Wiggins appeared in the finishing chute, his time counting down to gold.
As the Tour de France champion sped across the line in 50:39.54 to bring his country its second gold medal of the Games - only a few hours after they won in rowing - the crowd, as they say, went wild.
The finish of defending champion Cancellara, the only rider left on the course, was a mere footnote as the Swiss star, still smarting from his crash in Sunday's road race, finished off the pace in seventh place.
|1||Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)||0:50:39.54|
|2||Tony Martin (Germany)||0:00:42.00|
|3||Christopher Froome (Great Britain)||0:01:08.33|
|4||Taylor Phinney (United States of America)||0:01:58.53|
|5||Marco Pinotti (Italy)||0:02:09.74|
|6||Michael Rogers (Australia)||0:02:11.85|
|7||Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)||0:02:14.17|
|8||Bert Grabsch (Germany)||0:02:38.50|
|9||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain)||0:02:49.82|
|10||Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)||0:03:30.18|
|11||Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands)||0:03:40.08|
|12||Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)||0:03:50.75|
|13||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)||0:03:51.33|
|14||Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark)||0:03:53.67|
|15||Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)||0:03:54.95|
|16||Gustav Larsson (Sweden)||0:03:55.72|
|17||Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)||0:04:00.44|
|18||Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Portugal)||0:04:02.03|
|19||Jack Bauer (New Zealand)||0:04:14.62|
|20||Denis Menchov (Russian Federation)||0:04:19.72|
|21||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:04:32.78|
|22||Lars Boom (Netherlands)||0:04:50.20|
|23||Alexandr Vinokurov (Kazakhstan)||0:04:57.51|
|24||Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)||0:05:01.10|
|25||Maciej Bodnar (Poland)||0:05:10.13|
|26||Magno Prado Nazaret (Brazil)||0:05:11.23|
|27||David McCann (Ireland)||0:05:24.23|
|28||Ryder Hesjedal (Canada)||0:05:26.64|
|29||Sylvain Chavanel (France)||0:05:28.13|
|30||Michael Albasini (Switzerland)||0:05:58.84|
|31||Assan Bazayev (Kazakhstan)||0:06:01.23|
|32||Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)||0:06:19.62|
|33||Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez (Venezuela)||0:06:25.58|
|34||Mouhcine Lahsaini (Morocco)||0:06:45.70|
|35||Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia)||0:06:54.66|
|36||Alireza Haghi (Islamic Republic of Iran)||0:07:01.90|
|37||Ahmet Akdilek (Turkey)||0:08:31.65|
|1||Tony Martin (Germany)||0:08:22.60|
|2||Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)||0:00:04.93|
|3||Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)||0:00:05.56|
|4||Taylor Phinney (United States of America)||0:00:09.16|
|5||Christopher Froome (Great Britain)||0:00:10.21|
|6||Jack Bauer (New Zealand)||0:00:15.74|
|7||Gustav Larsson (Sweden)||0:00:16.35|
|8||Marco Pinotti (Italy)||0:00:17.62|
|9||Michael Rogers (Australia)||0:00:20.56|
|10||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain)||0:00:21.10|
|11||Sylvain Chavanel (France)||0:00:22.06|
|12||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)||0:00:22.35|
|13||Bert Grabsch (Germany)||0:00:23.35|
|14||Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)||0:00:26.70|
|15||Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)||0:00:26.75|
|16||Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)||0:00:28.49|
|17||Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Portugal)||0:00:28.67|
|18||Lars Boom (Netherlands)||0:00:29.09|
|19||Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands)||0:00:29.19|
|20||Denis Menchov (Russian Federation)||0:00:29.98|
|21||Magno Prado Nazaret (Brazil)||0:00:30.21|
|22||Maciej Bodnar (Poland)||0:00:31.08|
|22||Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark)|
|24||Michael Albasini (Switzerland)||0:00:32.19|
|25||Ryder Hesjedal (Canada)||0:00:34.43|
|26||Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)||0:00:34.44|
|27||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:00:37.43|
|28||Alexandr Vinokurov (Kazakhstan)||0:00:37.78|
|29||Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)||0:00:38.34|
|30||Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)||0:00:39.16|
|31||Alireza Haghi (Islamic Republic of Iran)||0:00:46.93|
|32||David McCann (Ireland)||0:00:50.85|
|33||Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez (Venezuela)||0:00:51.45|
|34||Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia)||0:00:51.79|
|35||Assan Bazayev (Kazakhstan)||0:00:54.38|
|36||Mouhcine Lahsaini (Morocco)||0:01:09.99|
|37||Ahmet Akdilek (Turkey)||0:01:16.47|
|1||Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)||0:23:14.73|
|2||Tony Martin (Germany)||0:00:11.23|
|3||Christopher Froome (Great Britain)||0:00:23.58|
|4||Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)||0:00:30.83|
|5||Taylor Phinney (United States of America)||0:00:45.25|
|6||Michael Rogers (Australia)||0:00:47.69|
|7||Marco Pinotti (Italy)||0:00:49.65|
|8||Bert Grabsch (Germany)||0:01:02.32|
|9||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain)||0:01:06.45|
|10||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)||0:01:23.57|
|11||Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)||0:01:26.60|
|12||Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)||0:01:27.11|
|13||Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)||0:01:27.12|
|14||Jack Bauer (New Zealand)||0:01:29.67|
|15||Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands)||0:01:30.47|
|16||Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)||0:01:32.07|
|17||Gustav Larsson (Sweden)||0:01:35.54|
|18||Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Portugal)||0:01:36.94|
|19||Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark)||0:01:37.03|
|20||Maciej Bodnar (Poland)||0:01:41.16|
|21||Denis Menchov (Russian Federation)||0:01:42.07|
|22||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:01:42.17|
|23||Magno Prado Nazaret (Brazil)||0:01:53.48|
|24||Lars Boom (Netherlands)||0:02:00.98|
|25||Ryder Hesjedal (Canada)||0:02:06.38|
|26||Alexandr Vinokurov (Kazakhstan)||0:02:11.97|
|27||Sylvain Chavanel (France)||0:02:17.34|
|28||Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)||0:02:17.86|
|29||Michael Albasini (Switzerland)||0:02:18.80|
|30||David McCann (Ireland)||0:02:28.54|
|31||Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez (Venezuela)||0:02:42.26|
|32||Assan Bazayev (Kazakhstan)||0:02:42.40|
|33||Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia)||0:02:50.90|
|34||Alireza Haghi (Islamic Republic of Iran)||0:02:52.92|
|35||Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)||0:02:54.17|
|36||Mouhcine Lahsaini (Morocco)||0:03:10.07|
|37||Ahmet Akdilek (Turkey)||0:03:42.67|
|1||Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)||0:34:43.99|
|2||Tony Martin (Germany)||0:00:22.10|
|3||Christopher Froome (Great Britain)||0:00:41.38|
|4||Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)||0:01:19.46|
|5||Michael Rogers (Australia)||0:01:24.11|
|6||Marco Pinotti (Italy)||0:01:29.48|
|7||Taylor Phinney (United States of America)||0:01:29.94|
|8||Bert Grabsch (Germany)||0:01:45.83|
|9||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spain)||0:01:47.04|
|10||Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)||0:02:26.87|
|11||Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands)||0:02:31.26|
|12||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)||0:02:32.60|
|13||Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark)||0:02:33.65|
|14||Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)||0:02:34.84|
|15||Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)||0:02:38.20|
|16||Gustav Larsson (Sweden)||0:02:44.14|
|17||Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark)||0:02:46.24|
|18||Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Portugal)||0:02:46.34|
|19||Jack Bauer (New Zealand)||0:02:51.88|
|20||Denis Menchov (Russian Federation)||0:02:57.08|
|21||Maciej Bodnar (Poland)||0:03:00.30|
|22||Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)||0:03:02.97|
|23||Lars Boom (Netherlands)||0:03:03.08|
|24||Alexandr Vinokurov (Kazakhstan)||0:03:29.35|
|25||Magno Prado Nazaret (Brazil)||0:03:29.99|
|26||Ryder Hesjedal (Canada)||0:03:37.52|
|27||Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan)||0:03:44.40|
|28||David McCann (Ireland)||0:03:53.94|
|29||Sylvain Chavanel (France)||0:03:59.09|
|30||Michael Albasini (Switzerland)||0:04:00.18|
|31||Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spain)||0:04:11.38|
|32||Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez (Venezuela)||0:04:25.18|
|33||Assan Bazayev (Kazakhstan)||0:04:27.09|
|34||Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Colombia)||0:04:40.58|
|35||Alireza Haghi (Islamic Republic of Iran)||0:04:46.60|
|36||Mouhcine Lahsaini (Morocco)||0:04:48.32|
|37||Ahmet Akdilek (Turkey)||0:05:51.98|