In an interview published today by The Guardian, former UCI Hour Record holder Graeme Obree said he is certain Bradley Wiggins will set a new mark on Sunday in London, but he hopes the British Olympic champion doesn’t put it out of reach for other riders.
“There’s been a lot of hype from his camp,” Obree told The Guardian. “There is a huge weight of expectation, but 55km is a tall order for any human being. We’ve seen Jack Bobridge and other guys fail and that’s an insight into just how hard it is.
“I’d be surprised if he didn’t break Alex Dowsett’s record,” Obree said. “But you have to bear in mind that Dowsett didn’t reach his full potential.”
Obree told The Guardian that if Wiggins goes above 55km he believes it would put the record out of touch for the current peloton and discourage other riders from making their own attempts.
“If he does less than 55km I don’t think the chapter is closed,” Obree said. “I want him to be good but not great so that the story keeps on rolling.
“The risk for Brad is not doing enough to stave off Dowsett coming back,” he said. “In that case you could have a repeat of the Obree and Boardman thing. And there are two other riders, Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin, who could try it. If he does over 55, that could put it on the shelf for another generation.”
Obree also told The Guardian that, in his eyes at least, it was Dowsett’s recent ride of 52.937, which eclipsed Obree’s 1994 mark of 52.71, that signaled a new era of Hour Record enthusiasm.
“The Hour Record has been brought alive, which is great from my point of view,” Obree said. “I just hope that Brad steps up on Sunday and feels he’s done himself justice, that he couldn’t do any more. That’s what he needs to achieve.”