BRITAIN’S Sir Bradley Wiggins refused to be downbeat yesterday after falling short in his bid to claim one of the few top cycling prizes to elude him.
Wiggins finished second to Germany’s Tony Martin in the time trial at the Road World Championships in Florence, just as he did in 2011.
It meant the 33-year-old failed to add the title to his 2012 Tour de France triumph and collection of Olympic track and road gold medals, but he insisted he was “relieved and satisfied”.
“There wasn’t a lot more I could have done,” Wiggins added. “I got the effort about right for the distance. I didn’t die off and I didn’t speed up; I held the same speed. It was a bit like Carl Lewis used to run a 100m. I had no idea until I finished and collapsed in the tent as to where I was.”
Wiggins, who is returning to track cycling next season and warmed up for this event with a commanding victory in the Tour of Britain last week, only snatched silver by two seconds from Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara.
The Englishman pipped Martin to gold at Hampton Court in the equivalent event at the London 2012 Olympics, but the German’s preparation had been hampered by a wrist injury and Wiggins could not deny him a third consecutive world title.
“I knew it would be close but Tony was on a different level,” he said. “It is an honour to be on the podium with those two guys. It will be something to show the grandkids.”
Wiggins is now set to support Team Sky colleague and rival Chris Froome in Sunday’s men’s elite race, while fellow Briton Lizzie Armitstead, who won road race silver at London 2012, goes in Saturday’s elite women’s race.