British Cycling were 'too involved' in Sir Bradley Wiggins's successful Hour Record attempt, says a member of Alex Dowsett's Hour Record support team, Steve Collins

Before the dust had a chance to settle on London’s Olympic velodrome, Bradley Wiggins’s Hour Record ride was brought into question, as one of Alex Dowsett’s Hour Record support crew, Steve Collins claimed the ride was illegal due to the equipment Wiggins used and questioned the role of British Cycling.

Wiggins rode to 54.526km on Sunday in the Lee Valley VeloPark and broke Dowsett’s 52.937km UCI Hour Record set last month. He and his team gave attention to every detail, but Collins explained that in some areas they some were too far.

“One of the sad bits about it was that Bradley’s bike wasn’t in production,” Collins told BBC Radio Essex.

“For attempts like that it should all be production available so you can buy it off the shelf. You can’t get 3D-printed handlebars moulded to your own arms to make it easier for your own attempt.”

Wiggins’s Pinarello Bolide HR frame was mounted with custom 3D-printed titanium handlebars. They were produced specifically for the Hour Record with a design to keep his shoulders as narrow as possible.

Alex Dowsett

Alex Dowsett celebrates breaking the Hour Record (Andy Jones)

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, approved his bike before the record attempt, telling Cycling Weekly in a statement: “Bradley Wiggins’s bike and equipment were thoroughly assessed by UCI officials before and after the UCI Hour Record attempt and were judged to be fully compliant with UCI Regulations.”

Collins also questioned the amount of support that British Cycling gave Wiggins. He said, “yes, completely,” when asked if the body preferred one rider to another.

Wiggins left Team Sky after Paris-Roubaix in April to head his own continental team designed to work around his Hour Record ride and 2016 Rio Olympics bid.

GB’s endurance coach, Heiko Salzwedel provided Wiggins updates track side. Shane Sutton, British Cycling’s technical director, and David Brailsford, former performance director and team Sky’s principal, were also present.

“He also had the help of British Cycling which, well, is not allowed,” added Collins. “It was a bit strange to see British Cycling, like [coach] Shane Sutton, getting so involved last night when he doesn’t work for Team Wiggins, I’m not sure how that’s allowed.”

BC, however, said that it assisted both Dowsett and Wiggins in their record rides.

“Alex Dowsett set his world record at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, the home of British Cycling, where he received technical and operational support from British Cycling personnel,” a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

“Sir Bradley Wiggins was helped by members of the Great Britain Cycling Team coaching staff with whom he is working in his bid to earn a place for Rio 2016. Questions about equipment are for the UCI.”

Dowsett, who said he would make a further attempt at the Hour Record in the coming years, later contradicted his coach, Collins.

“I had massive support from my team and sponsors, so it [British Cycling support] was not something that crossed my mind,” Dowsett told BBC Sport. “I had more than enough support from my own team.”

  • Bob

    Aint that the truth. IMHO the UCI are self serving Jobsworths, who couldn’t organise a clubrun. I once had big hopes for Pat McQuad but he just turned out like the rest of ’em – surely there must be some leader out there who puts their own credibility ahead of lies and dipping their snout in the trough, but I wont hold my breath – GL

  • I would. It was all a load of petty nonsense done to pretty much to spite Graham Obree and his achievements. Boardman’s bike and position was copied from Obree, who the UCI despised as he was an innovator and an individual who did not fit in with their antiquated idea of how cycling should be done.

  • Bob

    so you’d agree with me that Chris Boardman’s record should be reinstated and Brad should be demoted to ‘2nd best hour’ as he’s still 2k behind?

  • dourscot

    Perhaps he’s being misquoted but this is pretty weak criticism. The concept of a production bike is a grey area (the handlebars *are* available it’s just that they were customised to fit him which doesn’t infringe the UCI rules at all).

    Embarrassing nonsense.

  • David Bassett

    I was taught that if someone is getting or has something that you have not, then don’t complain. The chances are that the person that has it will have it taken off them(in this case too late as it seems Bradley will not go for the hour record again) and whatever it is, will be taken away from the table, so whoever might have benefited by it in the future will not have the opportunity. So in other words don’t spoil it for whoever is getting it try and get it for yourself. I am sure BC would only be too pleased to help anyone (who is British) to be the next record holder. I am sure that Alex Dowsett would not have cried like that.

  • captainPerfect

    Personally I don’t a problem in riding any bike design for “the hour”. After all, up to and including Merckx, where the UCI rules were set, they will all have ridden the best they could afford to increase the advantage. Plus some have ridden at altitude to improve the times. Why it needs to be off-the-shelf or whatever seems pointless. It is after all, basically a speed record. In everything except cycling the attempt is to use technology to improve the result. The UCI quango does at times appear to be set dead against cycling, almost remote from it.

  • Steve Collins isn’t Alex Dowsetts’ coach, Mark Walker is.

    Also, in response to one of the earlier comments, Canyon do have a track bike on the UCI approved list: the Speedmax CFR-24 track (CANY-R24-TR approved in April this year).

  • Howie Bolt

    Alex and Bradley are both brilliant racers,lets not forget they are both BRITISH,stop the squabling coach…

  • lee

    haha… just re-read Steve Collins statement and I’ve just remembered that Canyon themselves don’t actually have a production available Track Bike either!!! I think you’ve shot yourself in the foot there Steve!

    Both Pinerello and Canyon, specifically built frames for the event with adjusted geometries etc to fit track requirements, filled in brake holes etc etc… Personally I’m just pleased to see 2 Great British riders smashing it up on the track for a blue riband event! 😀

  • lee

    Steve Collins – shouldn’t matter what/why BC were there. they’ve known Wiggo for a number of years being part of their setup. What’s to stop Movistar printing up a set of handlebars for Alex or getting a sponsor to help with Aero work or provide a new bit of kit. smacks of sour grapes from you.

    I’m pleased Alex is cool with it all. A very classy rider (and all-round nice guy) and with a number of years to have another crack at it.

  • Riggah

    British Cycling supporting British cyclists in elevating the profile of British cycling?
    Isn’t that what they’re there for?