Wiggins will not underestimate Hour Record Challenge

Bradley Wiggins says he will not underestimate the magnitude of attempting the Hour Record after learning of Rohan Dennis’ successful ride on Sunday.

Dennis set a record of 52.491 kilometres at the Grenchen velodrome in Switzerland, surpassing the previous best of 51.852 kilometres set by Mattias Brändle last year.

Wiggins has set a date in June to attempt the Hour Record but is under no illusions how hard the effort will be.

“I thought he could do a mid-53 but I said that about Jack Bobridge,” Wiggins said, referring to the failed attempt made by Australian Jack Bobridge last week.

“I was talking to Brändle about it today and I think you can underestimate it. That’s why I’m doing it in June because I want to do Paris-Roubaix and then have eight weeks to get ready for it. And I’ll probably do the full distance in training.”

Wiggins, currently riding the Tour of Qatar, is set to leave Team Sky after Paris-Roubaix in April. From there he will focus entirely on the track until the Rio 2016 Olympics, beginning with his Hour Record attempt.

“I don’t want to do it off the back of a stage race and just have a few days to get ready. People will always try to rush you to do it but if I’m going to do it I’m going to do it properly and not underestimate it.

“But the record is what it is. I had a sit down with Chris Boardman for an hour last week and I asked him how hard it is. He said it depended on if I wanted to break it or put it out of sight because there’s a big difference between trying to do 55 and what it is now, 52.4. It’s about how hard you’re willing to push but you never know how far you’re willing to push. That’s why I want to have a good run at it in training, so I know what I’m capable of doing on the day.”

Dennis’ new record certainly gives Wiggins a benchmark to work with but the British rider remains the favourite to surpass that when he takes to the boards in London. Pinarello are currently building his custom bike and Wiggins and his team are fine-tuning every detail, even down to the temperature at the London Olympic Park velodrome. However he stressed that underestimating the effort needed to break the record would be a mistake.

“People keep saying ‘55, 55’ but they said that about Jack and Rohan. Until I get up and do 30 minutes at that pace, or riding on the track for an hour in that position… but it’s good having people go before you because you can see the mistakes that they make. So when I spoke to Brändle he said he had it too hot at 26 degrees and Boardman said I’d want it at 30. There’s a limit to it.”


Wiggins was speaking at the Tour of Qatar, where he lost 33 seconds to a number of rivals due to a late split in the field. It means his overall ambitions in the race have taken a dent but he added that he felt relatively comfortable in his first road race of the season. There still remains the 10.9-kilometre time trial, where the British rider could certainly pull back time on the likes of Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan, who both finished in the lead group.

“I just sort of stayed where I was and it was tricky through the town. It split again with around 15km to go. We almost got them back with around 5km to go but then it went again,” he said.

“If things went well all the better but it wasn’t the end of the world if it didn’t. It would have been nice to be up there but the next few days are going to be different again. This kind of racing, I feel like I need a day or two to find my legs and get used to fighting and taking risks. There were a few crashes but I was happy with how I felt. I’m just going to take it day by day and then see where I am after the time trial. “

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