LONDON, Aug 1, 2012 – Bradley Wiggins took a step towards being named
Britain’s greatest ever Olympian on Wednesday after overtaking former rower
Steve Redgrave’s tally of six medals following his men’s time trial win.
With five golds and one bronze medal, Redgrave is widely considered
Britain’s greatest ever Olympian.
However, he could soon lose that accolade to Wiggins after his fellow
Englishman added a fourth career Olympic gold — and seventh Games medal in
all — to his recent and historic victory in the Tour de France.
Before his time trial triumph Wiggins held a total of six Olympic medals
and six world titles — all from the track.
He had previously won three Olympic golds in the velodrome — two
individual pursuit titles from 2004 and 2008 as well as the team pursuit gold
At Athens in 2004 the 32-year-old Londoner also won team pursuit silver and
a Madison bronze, while at his maiden Games in 2000 he won team pursuit bronze.
Wiggins has since foregone the track to concentrate on road racing.
Since a breakthrough fourth place at the 2009 Tour de France and a
subsequent move to Team Sky, the Englishman has come on leaps and bounds in
In 2011 another breakthrough result came when he won the Criterium du
Dauphine, a crucial warm-up for the Tour de France and which is one of
France’s most prestigious stage races.
Wiggins competed at the 2011 Tour, but crashed out with a broken collarbone
on stage seven. He put his Grand Tour credentials on display barely two months
later with a third place finish at the Tour of Spain and then went on to win
silver behind Germany’s Tony Martin in the time trial world championships.
Although benefiting from the very best of sports science — Team Sky have
one of the biggest budgets in the professional peloton — Wiggins has also put
in the hard work and sacrifice needed to succeed.
In preparation for his 2012 yellow jersey campaign he spent several months
away from his wife and two children in London to train at high altitude in
His efforts paid off early in the season with with devastating effect, when
he won Paris-Nice. He then went on to win the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland,
and defended his Dauphine title only weeks before the Tour de France.
Over three weeks of racing in July, Wiggins won both time trials on the
race — on stages nine and 19 — and relied on his Sky team to set a pace in
the mountains which deterred many of his rivals from attacking.
His victory Wednesday was Britain’s first cycling gold of the Games, and is
likely to give his former track teammates a boost a day ahead of six days of
competition in the velodrome.