MULTIPLE Olympic and world champion Sir Bradley Wiggins insisted the rigours of smashing cycling’s hour record were akin to childbirth after completing a distance of 54.526km at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London yesterday.
Wiggins eclipsed the previous record held by fellow Briton Alex Dowsett of 52.937km, which was set in May, to become the sixth rider in history to claim a Tour de France title and set an hour record.
The 35-year-old completed 219 laps of the velodrome to surpass the 212 completed by Dowsett in Manchester, with one minute and 42 seconds to spare.
Wiggins is also the fifth rider in the past nine months to break the record, although fell short of his target distance of 55.250km, or 221 laps.
“I’m just glad it’s done. That’s the closest to knowing what it’s like to have a baby,” said Wiggins. “It was tortuous. You’re counting down the minutes.
“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, to put yourself on the line, takes a lot of courage and it’s a mental game as much as anything.
“If this was the only thing I did in my career it might have gone unnoticed. But to do it after everything I’ve done, as an old man, is wonderful.
“We had to make it so warm in here, the electricity bill is going to be enormous.”
Wiggins joins Lucien Petit-Breton, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain on the exclusive list of competitors to win the Tour de France and hold an hour record.