Alex Dowsett set a new record of 52.937 kilometres in Manchester on Saturday, but Wiggins is confident that he is already in sufficient shape to out-strip his former teammate’s mark, over a month out from his own attempt.
"It sounds a bit horrible to say but I could break the record tomorrow. But I don’t just want to break it, I want to put it right up there, as far out of reach as I can," Wiggins told The Times (opens in new tab). "I've got 55km in my head and I think it’s realistic. And I think if I do it, it will stand for 20 years."
Wiggins added that he did not expect the Hour Record attempt to be "any harder than climbing the Ventoux to save fourth place in the Tour de France." He acknowledged, however, that while he is physically in shape to achieve his target, the emotion of the occasion could present its own challenges. He cited the example of Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard, who was recently sent off moments after coming on as a substitute in his final appearance against Manchester United.
"I know I can average 430 watts for an hour, do that tomorrow," Wiggins said. "The challenge is dealing with the heat, the crowd, pacing yourself early when the crowd are egging you on. Not doing a Gerrard and coming on, booting someone and getting sent off in a minute. It's about control, lap after lap, for 220 of them."
Wiggins had earlier compared himself to Gerrard when discussing his decision to leave Team Sky after Paris-Roubaix to race for the new WIGGINS team. "I could have done another year or two there but I wouldn't have wanted to do a Steven Gerrard with everyone wondering, 'Has he gone on a year too long?" he said.
Continuing with the football analogy, Wiggins said his switch from the WorldTour to racing a club ten-mile trial in Hull later this month is "like coming from Real Madrid and playing in the local leagues. Didn’t Paul Scholes do that?" (Scholes, in fact, came out of retirement within six months to return to Manchester United for a further year and a half – ed.)
Wiggins added that he viewed helping to establish the new development team as part of his legacy to British cycling. "To me, it's not about being a captain on Question of Sport or sat on James Corden's sports show pratting around, but finding the next British winner of the Tour de France," he said.
"I want what I do to have longevity, integrity. It was the same after 2012. For a week I was the most famous person in the country but I was cautious, I didn't flog myself doing every advert that was going. I wanted it all to stand for a lot more than just being on a Rice Krispies packet."
Wiggins will aim to land his fifth Olympic gold medal when he lines up in the team pursuit in Rio de Janeiro next summer, but for now his focus is squarely on the imminent Hour Record attempt, and he has taken novel steps to prepare for the conditions. "The day after Paris-Roubaix I got a bloke to come out and build a greenhouse with heaters in it so I can go on the turbo at 32 degrees and acclimatise for the heat," he said.
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