Wiggins set out to beat the mark of 52.937km recorded by Alex Dowsett on May 2 in Manchester, and easily passed the Essex man’s distance despite unfavourable high air pressure and a slower track.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
The 35-year-old world and Olympic time trial champion started his attempt a couple of minutes earlier than the 6.30pm start time, and quickly set into a metronomic rhythm around the track that was the scene of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
After a hundred laps, Wiggins had averaged 54.612kmh and by the half-hour, half-way point Wiggins was a minute and 13 seconds up on the same distance ridden by Dowsett.
Wiggins then continued to make inroads into Dowsett’s mark for the remaining half hour, although his average speed did drop slightly in the final 15 minutes.
Throughout the attempt, Wiggins barely shifted his position in the saddle of his Pinarello Bolide HR bike, with a perfectly level back. Even in the excruciating final 10 minutes Wiggins only dipped his head slightly, the only sign that he was pushing himself to the limit.
When he passed Dowsett’s distance with just under two minutes to go, it was a case of how much more ground he could cover. Rather than collapse on the floor, as other Hour Record riders have done, Wiggins hopped on a road bike for a victory lap of the velodrome, waving to the huge, sell-out crowd.