If any rider could unseat Laura Trott for the best track racer of the year, they'd have to do something big. Trott, the multi-time Olympic, World and British champion on the track, claimed the title for the past two years running but missed out on expanding her rainbow jersey collection this season. She still garnered 26 percent of the voting, with Italian Elia Viviani in third. But it was clearly Wiggins' year to be star on the boards.
Ever since the UCI's decision to relax the rules for equipment used in Hour Record attempts, everyone has been waiting for a rider of Wiggins' calibre to give it a go. Jens Voigt was the first to make an attempt, putting down a handy 51.11km. Matthias Brändle stretched out the mark to 51.852, a measure which Jack Bobridge could not quite reach. The task then fell to Rohan Dennis, who impressed with 52.491km. While coming close, retired racer Thomas Dekker could not parlay the thin air of Aguascalientes into a new record, although 52.221km was not too shabby. Gustav Larsson's 50.016km was good enough for a Swedish record, but fell far short of the elite ranks.
The Hour Record saga then fell into the hands of the British, with Alex Dowsett storming to a 52.937km ride in the Manchester Velodrome in May. The momentum had reached a fever pitch by the time Wiggins rolled to the start line in London on June 7. And as he pushed off onto the silky smooth Siberian pine boards, it was clear that history would be made, but Wiggins was up against unfavourable conditions - with the barometric pressure at its highest point in weeks, making the air thicker than he had hoped.
Yet, as the minutes ticked by, Wiggins was up on Voigt. Up on Brandle. Up on Dennis and then better than Dowsett's mark. Not content to leave his record open to a challenge any time soon, Wiggins pushed the bar far, far out of reach with a distance of 54.526km. Although experts feel he could have surpassed 55km with better conditions, Wiggins has stated that he will not do another Hour Record attempt.
The mark is still shy of Chris Boardman's 56.375km effort in the now-banned 'superman' position, but should stay put for a while.
Beyond the Hour Record, Wiggins has helped a flagging British endurance squad to the European team pursuit title, and put on quite a show in the Revolution Series opening round with Mark Cavendish in the Madison. He is targeting the another team pursuit godl medal in Rio next summer before a long goodbye probably vis the London and Gent Six Day events.
Rounding out our top spots were Annette Edmondson of Austraila, the team pursuit and Omnium world champion, with 9 percent of the votes. Colombian stand-out Fernando Gaviria, winner of men's Omnium world title, was fifth.
Best Track Rider of 2015 - results
|1||Bradley Wiggins (Team WIGGINS)||40||%|
|2||Laura Trott (Great Britain)||26|
|3||Elia Viviani (Team Sky)||16|
|4||Annette Edmondson (Australia)||9|
|5||Fernando Gaviria (Colombia)||8|