Dowsett helper questions British Cycling involvement in Wiggins's Hour Record

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

Heiko Salzwedel with Bradley Wiggins in 2015
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

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."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.