Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Olympic Games men’s cycling time trial on Wednesday to take the fourth Olympic gold of his career. In total, Wiggins now has seven Olympic medals – the most won by any British athlete in history.
Chris Froome gave Britain further cause for celebration by winning bronze. World time trial champion Tony Martin (Germany) placed second at 42 seconds to take silver.
Wiggins caused gasps among the many thousands of spectators when he came through the first intermediate time checkpoint at 7.3 kilometres second fastest, five seconds behind Martin. There was no panic. Once again, Wiggins proved to be the master of pacing himself and by the second checkpoint had moved to 11 seconds ahead of the German, and never looked back.
Wiggins continued at the same velocity, his smooth pedalling style making his stunning performance look effortless.
At the finish, his time caused a massive cheer among the crowd – but the man himself appeared unwilling to celebrate until last rider off and defending champion Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) came in. Cancellara, however, was still in some difficulty after crashing out of the men’s road race on Saturday and finished seventh.
Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez suffered an amazing stroke of bad luck when his chain snapped on the first pedal stroke in the start house. His mechanic was caught out, and it took a while to get a replacement bike to him. Then he suffered a puncture further down the course, his ride over for the day.
Wiggins’s time trial gold comes after his historic win at the Tour de France in July in what has been the best season for a British cyclist – and possibly any cyclist – in the history of the sport. Before the Tour, he won Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandy and Criterium du Dauphine.
This latest medal joins Wiggins Olympic golds in the individual pursuit (2004 and 2008) and team pursuit (2008), plus silver in the team pursuit (2004) and bronze in the team pursuit (2000) and Madison (2004).
With Lizzie Armitstead’s silver in the women’s road race, British cyclists have now won a medal of each colour and occupy the top slot in the London 2012 cycling event medal table – even before the start of the track events on Thursday.
London 2012 Olympic Games: Men’s cycling time trial, 44km
1. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) in 50-40
2. Tony Martin (Germany) at 42 secs
3. Chris Froome (Great Britain) at 1-08
4. Taylor Phinney (USA) at 1-59
5. Marco Pinotti (Italy) at 2-10
6. Michael Rogers (Australia) at 2-12
7. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) at 2-14
8. Bert Grabsch (Germany) at 2-39
9. Jonathan Catroviejo (Spain) at 2-50
10. Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) at 3-30
Bradley Wiggins’s fans
Men’s TT podium (l-r): Tony Martin (silver), Bradley Wiggins (gold), Chris Froome (bronze)
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