Wiggins: Great Britain pursuit team is still a work in progress

No 'Chelsea situation', despite fifth-place World Cup finish

Bradley Wiggins insists the Great Britain men's pursuit team are still on track for the 2016 Olympic Games, despite finishing down in fifth at last weekend's Track World Cup event in Cali.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist reached for a football analogy when talking about the current state of the squad, whose showing in Colombia came on the back of a European title in Switzerland last month. "We haven't got a Chelsea situation on our hands," he quipped on Sky Sports, referring to the Premier League champions' staggering slump of late.

A more fitting comparison might be with Manchester United, given that the Colombia trip was more about experimentation and tinkering with the line-up.

"We're not really looking too much into the result," said Wiggins. "It's more a case of, there's not many competitions between now and Rio where we can experiment with different line-ups, like changing position within the four. We tried a couple of line-ups, we were struggling with a couple of guys with injuries at the moment - we’ve lost Ed Clancy in the last couple of months.

"There were a lot of positives to take from it. In the final ride, we were riding off for fifth and we were on world-record pace for two and a half kilometres with the line-up we had. Things like that you take more from, so it wasn't really about the colour of the medal or the position. The main one was the European title, which we won a few weeks ago, and travelling out to Colombia, with the time difference and everything, was more of an experimental project."

There are still two World Cup events remaining over the winter, though it is not yet clear whether the team will travel out to New Zealand and Hong Kong to compete. What is certain is that the biggest stop on the road to Rio is the Track World Championships in London in March. That's where everything will have to click into place as markers are thrown down and statements of intent made ahead of Rio. 

"Obviously I've just come back to the team - this was only my second team pursuit competition since the Beijing Olympics, so there aren't too many opportunities to race between now and the Olympic Games," Wiggins continued.

"We've got one more series of team pursuit racing, which will be the World Championships in London. It's an important time, and you can't really re-enact the pressures of racing in a training environment, so that's the ultimate goal working back from that. We need four strong bodies on the day, which we will hopefully have by then. At the end of the day we have a pool of riders who we can select from, and we have to try different formulas and different combinations."

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