Who would win a 10-mile time trial riding on retro drop-bar machines: Bradley Wiggins or Michael Hutchinson?

The pair discussed having such a showdown in an off-the-cuff Twitter conversation earlier this month. Wiggins proposed the idea of an athlete’s 10-mile time trial harking back to the “days of [Ian] Cammish et al” as the pair indulged in some online banter with each other.

Although the exchange was brief and merely started as a joke in which it was suggested they have a fight, Hutchinson at least is half serious about following it up.

“You don’t sit there on Twitter carefully considering what you say next,” he told Cycling Weekly. “But if we can sort out the logistics, then why not?”

Clash of the TT titans
Although Wiggins’s actual suggestion was of an “athlete’s 10-mile record”, the gist of the conversation concerned having a head-to-head clash.

The only problems Hutchinson could foresee in pulling it off was in mutually agreeing on a time and place, and getting hold of the Eighties vintage cycles.

“There wouldn’t be an awful lot of point in us turning up on our standard road bikes,” he said. “The whole idea I think is to go back and do it like 1983. I think some big sideburns or a perm would look good!”

Hutchinson added: “I’m game. But obviously Bradley’s got to wedge it into his programme. I’m sure he’s got quite a lot of other things going on in his cycling life.”

The Twitter exchange in full
Dr Hutch:
@cyclingweekly says @bradwiggins wants the 10-mile record back. Only one way to settle it. Fight, fight, fight, fight….
4 Dec 2010 13:54:22

Brad Wiggins:
@Doctor_Hutch No you’d win
4 Dec 2010 14:10:59

Dr Hutch:
@bradwiggins Or a London Hire bike race?
4 Dec 2010 14:18:20

Brad Wiggins:
@Doctor_Hutch Or an athlete’s 10mile record back to the days of Cammish et al?
4 Dec 2010 14:31:20

Dr Hutch:
@bradwiggins Sounds like fun!
4 December 2010 14:38:48

Bradley Wiggins, winner, British time trial national championships 2010

Bradley Wiggins

Michael Hutchinson wins NAtional 10 2010

Michael Hutchinson

Timing at attempt
Even if an Eighties man-to-man clash fails to go ahead (Hutchinson reckons there’s a 50-50 chance), an interest from Wiggins in pursuing the national 10-mile tile trial record promises a shot in the arm for the British time trialling scene.

The Twitter exchange which brought about suggestion of the man-to-man challenge was sparked by Hutchinson reading in Cycling Weekly that Wiggins wanted the ‘10′ competition record back after Hutchinson claimed it off him earlier this year.

“I’ve just lent it to him,” Wiggins had noted in the December 2 issue.

Hutchinson has been head and shoulders above the domestic competition in recent years and he is only meaningfully challenged when international road-race professionals make a guest appearance.

On the few occasions that the two have recently met head to head, Wiggins has tended to have the edge over Hutch. For the last two years Wiggins has won the British circuit time trial championships from him.

But Hutchinson gained bragging rights over Wiggins when in July he recorded 17-57 in the Wolds RT event in East Yorkshire to claim the ‘10′ competition record.

This sliced a single second off Wiggins’s 2006 figure set on the Levens course in Cumbria, which starts down a gift hill.

But both think they can go even faster.

“It’s pretty asymmetrical,” noted Hutchinson. “He’s Bradley Wiggins, the leader of Team Sky. I’m a journalist who races bikes in his spare time – it doesn’t matter that I might have quite a lot of spare time to do that!”

Given that Wiggins’s commitments of leading his team on the road will limit his opportunities in chasing the record, Hutchinson does recognise the scales are not tipped all Wiggins’s way. For Wiggins the competition record can only be seen as a personal side project or even light relief from his road racing ambitions.

“The advantage I’ve got is I can turn up more places and try and move the record on a bit,” Hutchinson said. “Bradley’s got to choose two or three occasions tops. And if he’s going to do it on top form that’s probably prior to the Tour when his team is most ambivalent about him chasing a ‘10′ somewhere.

“I’ve got an advantage in terms of timing and I can do it when I’m in the best possible shape. He’s got an advantage in that he’s just plain old-fashioned faster than me.”

Wiggins vs Hutchinson: The stats

Wiggins Stat Hutchinson
30 Age 37
1.90m Height 1.80m
73kg Racing weight 73kg
35bpm Resting heart rate 47bpm
198bpm Maximum heart rate 196bpm
7L apx Lung capacity 8.5L
0 National ‘10′ titles 8
460W apx Average power output for a ‘10′ 440W+
17:58 Fastest ‘10′ time 17:57

This article originally appeared in the December 23 2010 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine

Related links

Bradley Wiggins: Rider profile

Michael Hutchinson: Rider profile

  • David McDermott

    Add Millar into the mix and you’d generate a lot of interest for a really interesting race.

  • Rob Erle

    At least the Hutch/Wiggins showdown is possible. I was thinking only yesterday of whether Reg Harris or Chris Hoy was the faster sprinter…does anyone have any meaningfully comparative times?

  • Derek McDonald

    After last season’s dismal performance from the over hyped Wiggo I’d imagine he’d be keen to race against an amateur so that at least he might have something to put in is trophy cabinet for this season.

  • geoff gartrell

    To make it a real 80’s repro you would have to get rid of a lot of traffic.