Cycling: Peerless Wiggins roars to record

Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:23pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

HAMPTON COURT, England (Reuters) - Bradley Wiggins basked in glory, and a bit of sun, as Britain's most decorated Olympian after he hammered the field in awe-inspiring fashion to claim the London Games cycling time trial on Wednesday.

Wiggins, the first British Tour de France champion, surpassed rower Steve Redgrave's record of six Olympic medals by snatching his seventh on home soil amidst scenes of joy around Hampton Court Palace.

His Tour victory just 10 days ago had already given a massive boost to his popularity in Britain. The man with the distinctive long dark sideburns was chosen to ring the bell at the start of the Olympic opening ceremony last Friday.

Winning an Olympic gold medal, his fourth, in London, will likely add to the Wiggomania.

"It's never going to be better. There was a slight melancholy on the podium. Nothing will top that now," he told reporters

"I'm certainly going to get a bit drunk tonight. I think I've earned it."

Asked if he would compete at Rio 2016, the 32-year-old added: "Yes but not in this event. I couldn't endure four more years of this training. I could envisage going back to track pursuit but we'll see."

Wiggins, who already had six track cycling medals, made a cautious start on the 44-km course starting and ending at Hampton Court Palace before powering home with an average speed of over 52 kph.   Continued...

Britain's Bradley Wiggins competes in the men's cycling individual time trial at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch