“The greatest individual achievement in the history of British sport”. That was Sir Chris Hoy’s assessment of Bradley Wiggins’ feat. After three gruelling weeks, Wiggins created history by becoming the first Briton to win the Tour De France on Sunday and declared, “The biggest accolade is respect from your peers.”
The Tour was effectively over after a blistering time trial on Saturday. Instead of wild celebrations, Wiggins’ thoughts quickly turned to the Olympics road race this Saturday. He immediately left France to an undisclosed location “to get the bike out in peace and quiet with no motorbikes around me taking photographs and getting in the way”.
With a Tour De France title to his name, the Londoner is in bullish mood, aiming for nothing less than Olympic Gold. “It’s gold or nothing in London now, if I’m 100% honest. We have prepared for this for a long time. We always knew I would be chasing the win in the Tour, and that after that I would be going for the win in the time trial in the London Olympics.” The main threat for Wiggins, comes from current Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, from Switzerland, and World time trial champion Tony Martin, from Germany.
Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the Tour for the fourth successive year, which warms him up nicely to Saturday’s road race. He will line up alongside Wiggins, Chris Froome, David Millar and Ian Stannard, who hope to drive Cavendish to Olympic Gold.
The cycling road race takes place Saturday 28th July. Much of the course (map) is free for spectators to watch.
The time trial takes place on Wednesday 1st August (map).
In the velodrome, Sir Chris Hoy has been bestowed with the great honour of being named Great Britain’s flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony. Only last week Sir Hoy was overlooked for the individual team sprint in favour for Jason Kenny, meaning that he will not be able to defend all three of his Olympic titles from Beijing. “Jason thoroughly deserves this opportunity and has a great chance of success in the sprint.” Hoy will still defend his Olympic men’s keirin and men’s team sprint titles.
Team GB will face stiff opposition from the Australians and, the Grégory Baugé inspired French, in attempting the land the Gold medal in both the Team Pursuit and Team Sprint events. Events at the Velodrome commence on Thursday 2nd August running until Tuesday 7th August.
Categories: Olympics 2012