Bradley Wiggins admits he has “no idea” how far he is capable of riding in his Hour Record attempt scheduled for June.
Wiggins will make his bid at London’s Lee Valley Velodrome, potentially on June 6, with Rohan Dennis’s distance of 52.491 kilometres set this afternoon in Switzerland the current benchmark.
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Some have tipped the 34-year-old to ride as far as 55 kilometres during his ride but Wiggins, opened his road season at the Tour of Qatar today, remains cautious in his approach.
“I thought Rohan would be capable of a mid-53km distance, then again I thought [Jack] Bobridge could do a 54km,” said Wiggins.
“People keep saying I will ride 55km, but I honestly have no idea. I’ve not done anything like that on the track before. Until I ride 30 minutes at that pace, and in that position, I have no idea.
“I think people underestimate it. That’s why I’m doing in June – I’ll have eight weeks to prepare for it after Paris-Roubaix and I’ll probably do the full distance in training just to be sure.”
Wiggins, who has not ridden on the track since the Commonwealth Games last August, added that he met former outright and Athlete’s Hour holder Chris Boardman last week to discuss his attempt.
“It helps with it being 52.5km at present, and not 55 or 56 kilometres set in extreme conditions,” added Wiggins.
“Chris said it all depends on whether I want to break it or put it out of sight, as there’s a big difference between 52.5 and 55km.
“It’s good having people go before you, you can see the mistakes they make. I was chatting to [previous record holder] Matthias Brändle about it today, too, and he said it was too hot for him at 26°C, but Boardman said I should go at 30°C.”
The World Time Trial Champion finished today’s opening stage in Qatar in the second group, 33 seco ds behind stage winner Jose Joaquin Rojas and numerous overall contenders.
He said: “I didn’t necessarily come to win the overall, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t.
“In this type of race I feel like I need a day or two to find my legs, to get used to fighting and taking risks. But I was happy with the way I felt, that’s the main thing.
“Whatever group you’re in here, it’s a hard race. You’re always fighting hard, from that point of view it’s pretty good preparation for the season.”
Wiggins said that he hopes to be able to ride the Tour de Yorkshire [May 1-3] and some Tour Series rounds for the new team he has set up bearing his name as preparation for his Hour attempt.
The UCI has previously told CW that he will be able to make the switch as of June 1, but the governing body could grant special dispensation for an earlier transfer.