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Go Wiggo! Bradley smashes world record for distance cycled in an hour

The British cyclist travelled 54.5kms in 60 minutes at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London this evening.

Britain Cycling Wiggins Source: AP/Press Association Images

BRADLEY WIGGINS SMASHED the UCI (International Cycling Union) hour record at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London tonight.

Wiggins’s distance of 54.526 kilometres eclipsed the previous record of 52.937km set by fellow British rider Alex Dowsett in Manchester last month.

However, Wiggins’s ambitious target of 55km — which he had indicated beforehand might set a record that would stand for a generation — proved even beyond the British cycling great.

“I’m just glad it’s done,” Wiggins told Sky Sports. “That’s the closest to knowing what it’s like to have a baby. It was tortuous. You’re counting down the minutes.

We’ve been through a lot as a little team, my wife and kids know a lot about air pressure.

“I always compare myself to the greats. I’m just glad to be in the company of those guys. Just to get up there and do that takes a lot of courage. It’s tough.”

Britain Cycling Wiggins Source: AP/Press Association Images

He was roared on to the new mark by a packed crowd, that included Wiggins’s childhood hero and former hour record-holder Miguel Indurain, at what was the 2012 London Olympic Velodrome.

Remarkably, world time-trial champion Wiggins still had the strength to lift his bike above his head after completing a punishing hour in the saddle.

Since the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, unified the regulations surrounding the event last year, four riders have held the record: Germany’s Jens Voigt, Matthias Brandle of Switzerland, Australian Rohan Dennis and Dowsett.

Wiggins, who had shaved off the beard he had grown since abandoning the sideburns he sported at the 2012 Olympics in a bid to make himself more streamlined, was quickly ahead of the pace set by Dowsett on May 2.

He went through 100 laps at a speed of 54.612kph and broke Dowsett’s record with just under two minutes left.

Britain Cycling Wiggins Source: AP/Press Association Images

By setting a new hour record, the 35-year-oldWiggins has added to a list of impressive achievements in a career that has seen him win four Olympic gold medals, as well as becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France — cycling’s most prestigious road race — in 2012.

Wiggins has said next year’s Olympic Games in Rio is likely to mark his farewell to competitive cycling.

- © AFP, 2015

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