Sir Chris Hoy is backing his fellow knight Bradley Wiggins to eclipse his record as Britain’s most decorated Olympian at the Rio Games, but insists the Tour de France winner is already the nation’s best ever cyclist.
Hoy’s two gold medals at the London Games in 2012 saw him move past Sir Steve Redgrave’s mark by taking his tally to seven across four Olympics.
While Wiggins won’t be able to match Hoy’s six gold medals in Rio, he could win his eight piece of Olympic hardware, but plays down the importance of taking the record.
“I think he plays it down, but he will take huge pride winning five gold medals and to have more total medals than anybody else,” Hoy told Press Association Sport at the launch of his new children’s book.
“He collects records left, right and centre and even without the Olympics he is the greatest cyclist Britain has ever produced.
“He does not have to win a medal to do that because no-one has done what he has done across the board – to win the Tour de France, to hold the one-hour world record, and to be a multiple world and Olympic champion across disciplines – there is no-one even close to that.
“When he puts his mind to something, you wouldn’t bet against him achieving it. I know it is a team event so he hasn’t got control of the end result but he will make it happen, no doubt about it.”
Wiggins is battling for a place in Team GB’s team pursuit squad for the Rio Games, with victory in the European Championships doing his chances of selection no harm.