Road will miss Wiggins

Road cycling will not be the same without Sir Bradley Wiggins, according to his old rival Tony Martin.

Wiggins will front a new team

that will focus on preparing Great Britain’s team pursuit squad for Rio 2016.

The 34-year-old’s Olympic ambitions are well known, as is his love of track cycling, but the move away from the road came as a shock to Martin.

“I was very surprised – he’s not so old, is he?” the German time-trial great, 29, told BBC Sport.

“But he will fight for the gold medal in Rio and it doesn’t really matter if it’s on the road or the track.

“I wish him all the best. He’s super smart and a nice guy.”


Sir Bradley Wiggins

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Sir Bradley Wiggins on why his team is ‘unique’

The two men have dominated top-flight time trialling over the last four seasons, with Martin winning five Grand Tour stages against the clock since 2011, as well as

three world time-trial titles in a row.

In fact, the Etixx-Quick-Step star has not finished worse than third in the event at the World Road Championships since 2010.

But Wiggins has held his own against ‘Der Panzerwagen’ over the years,

claiming Olympic gold during an untouchable 2012

and beating Martin with a superb ride at

last year’s World Championships.

“We were always good contenders, always fair,” added Martin.

“He was the one I was – or still am – most scared of. You never know with Bradley, he can make a great time, or maybe nothing.

“But without him it will be a little bit boring sometimes – we’ll miss him in the races.”

Martin’s comment about Wiggins still being the man to beat is a reference to the next chapter in their rivalry: the hour record.

Interest in one of cycling’s oldest and most iconic challenges – riding as far as you can in one hour – has been revived by the International Cycling Union’s decision to relax the rules governing what bike and kit riders can use in their attempts.

Tony Martin

Martin was runner-up to Wiggins in the London 2012 Olympic time trial

Martin’s German compatriot

Jens Voigt

was the first to take advantage of the new regulations last September, only for Austria’s

Matthias Brandle

to take the record out to 51.852km a month later.

But 2015 looks like being the year ‘The Hour’ really returns to public prominence, with as many as half a dozen riders already announcing their intentions to go for it, including Wiggins.

“Yeah, it’s also a super interesting topic for me,” said Martin, adding that an official announcement should come in the next few “weeks or months”.

He continued: “Hopefully, it’s a record for the future – you can compare it across the years.

“It’s not like a time trial where (the course) is different, or the distance – it’s one hour under the same circumstances.

“I would do it even if Wiggo wasn’t doing it, but it’s a nice story when the biggest time triallists fight against each other.

“Every race needs the big riders, so maybe [Switzerland’s four-time world time trial champion Fabian] Cancellara will also do it.”

The details of Wiggins’ attempt are expected imminently, but it is widely believed to happen this summer after his move from Team Sky to Team Wiggins.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/30755712

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