Bradley Wiggins Bids Farewell To Road For Track

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by Alistair WATSON

GLASGOW, July 25, 2014 (AFP) – Bradley Wiggins has set his sights on
claiming gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after losing out to Australia in the
final of the men’s team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.

The Australian quartet of Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson and
Glenn O’Shea set a new Commonwealth record on their way to beating England to
add the title to the World Championship they claimed in Colombia in February.

Wiggins, making his return to track cycling for the first time since 2008,
couldn’t inspire his team-mates of Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant and Steven Burke to
victory as the 34-year-old collected the fourth silver medal of his
Commonwealth Games career.

Four-time Olympic champion Wiggins only made the decision to compete in the
Games four weeks ago after being dropped by Team Sky for this year’s Tour de
France.

And the 2012 Tour de France winner says he will focus on the track as he
aims to claim a fifth Olympic gold in Rio and suggested that his road cycling
days were behind him.

“I’ve kind of done the road now. I’ve bled it dry,” he told the BBC.

“The road is quite cut-throat. The track feels more like a family and a
closer-knit group of people.”

He added: “That will probably be it for the Grand Tours. I can’t imagine
doing that now.”

Wiggins believes that a track gold in Rio is possible despite another
silver in Glasgow.

“I think we’re disappointed but in hindsight we will look back on this and
think this was the start of things for us,” Wiggins said of their defeat to
Australia.

“Over the next two years Rio is the goal and we’re going to work back from
that target.

“It takes four people to be on a par and we’ve all had such different
preparations this year. I think there’s a lot of positives to take from it but
we’ve definitely got some work to do.

“Catching the Australians is not going to be easy, we’ve got our work cut
out because they set the standard once again. But we’ve been in that position
before and it’s not a bad position to be in.

“Two years is definitely enough time to get to that standard. I mean we put
in two world class rides there with just four weeks together to prepare for it.

“I certainly answered the questions whether I can still do it or not but I
still think there is a lot more room for improvement. It’s going to take a lot
more dedication to the track ahead of Rio.”

Australia dominated from the start and finished five seconds ahead of the
English in a time of three minutes 54.851seconds.

“We knew we were well ahead going into the final laps and we just put our
heads down and started chasing them,” Edmondson said.

“We were probably a little bit quicker than we thought we would be.”

The New Zealand quartet of Shane Archibald, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett
and Marc Ryan pipped Canada to the bronze.

Australian track legend Anna Meares won the first gold of the day as she
retained her title in the women’s 500m time trial with a new Commonwealth
record.

The 30-year-old took 0.3 seconds off her own previous record of 33.758, set
in New Dehli four years ago, to cross the line in 33.435.

Compatriot Stephanie Morton claimed silver ahead of England’s Jess Varnish.

Another Games record was set by New Zealand trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam
Webster and Eddie Dawkins as they collected gold in the team sprint final
ahead of England’s Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes and Kian Emadi.

Australia claimed bronze ahead of Malaysia.

England’s Sophie Thornhill claimed gold in the women’s para-sport sprint
tandem with pilot Helen Scott ahead of Scotland’s Aileen McGlynn and pilot
Louise Haston who won the host nation’s first medal of the Games.

Australia’s Brandie O’Connor and Breanna Hargrave picked up the bronze.

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