Bradley Wiggins already has an Olympic team pursuit title to his credit, and he says that in his quest for another the Team GB quartet are hoping to be racing at 3:50 pace going into the Rio Olympics next summer.
"Off the back of the Tour of Britain and with another month of training going into the Europeans, we want to get down as close as possible to 3:50 by the time we get to Rio," Wiggins said prior to the start of stage 5 at the Tour of Britain in Prudhoe.
The first objective for Britain's team pursuit riders, though, are the European Track Championships in Grenchen, Switzerland, next month. "I don't know how fast the track is, but I guess we set the standard in Derby really, and that 3:54/3:55 area and faster is what we're hoping to do," said Wiggins.
"We'll just be aiming to go as fast as possible, but perhaps aim for 3:54. That will probably win the Euros, but we just need to be as fast as possible."
Wiggins had said at the start of the Tour of Britain that he would be looking to infiltrate the break later in the race, and perhaps on Thursday's fifth stage to Hartside. However, he said he was likely to spend the race's queen stage close to WIGGINS' designated team leader, Owain Doull, who is lying fourth overall.
"That was the plan originally, but we're a bit short-staffed towards the back end of the race and it's probably best if I stay with him and make sure he's up there," he said.
Wiggins added that he has also noticed how much tougher Britain's national tour has become over the past couple of years. "There are no easy days here anymore. There was a time when you could sit in the bar until three in the morning and get through the stages quite comfortably, but there's no chance of that anymore," he said.
"In fact, Cav was saying the other day that there are no easy races in cycling anymore and every race you go to is just as competitive, whatever the terrain."
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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