As Bradley Wiggins roared over the line to set the new UCI Hour Record of 54.526 kilometres Miguel Indurain – a former holder of the Hour and described by Wiggins as one his childhood heroes – watched on.
In his days as a professional, Indurain was a man of few words, a rider who did his talking on the bike rather than off it. When Wiggins picked off the marker record of Alex Dowsett, Indurain merely glanced up at the media, smiled and offered a generous thumbs up. It was all he really needed to do, the deafening noise of the partisan crowd providing enough evidence as to ascertain what Wiggins' efforts truly meant.
"He's set a really impressive record tonight," Indurain told Cyclingnews as Wiggins soaked up the applause during his celebratory laps.
"What stood out was how consistent he was on the track with his speed. I thought he would do between 54 and 55 kilometres but what we saw was the maximum Bradley could do in these conditions."
Wiggins' ride sees him join a select group of riders, including Merckx and Coppi, who have won the Tour de France and also beaten the Hour Record. Until Sunday Indurain was the last to enter the group.
"Wiggins in now in the club. He's won a Tour and now the Hour Record but don't forget he has won a lot of other races and he has the huge success from the Olympics. He's a champion. Everyone has their ideas of what a legend is but Bradley is one of them."
The new record may entice others to throw their hat into the ring, a factor that Wiggins said that he would welcome. Indurain, who broke the record once but also had a failed attempt in Colombia in 1995, believes that riders such as Tony Martin, Fabian Cancellara and former holder Alex Dowsett could be tempted to take on the challenge.
"Wiggins took half a season to do this. You're talking about great champions with Martin, Cancellara and, of course, Dowsett. Wiggins has set a new record but if the others prepare, then they have a chance. This new record raises the bar really high and I don't think there's too much room for the rest. Will Wiggins go again? I don't know, you'll have to ask him."