Sir Bradley Wiggins says Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) could break the Hour Record tomorrow if he wanted to.
Wiggins lost his Hour Record to Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) last week, with the Belgian setting a new distance of 55.089km in Mexico.
The 2012 Tour de France winner said he was content to see the record pass to a new rider, but said in his weekly podcast on Eurosport that more of the current top professional riders should take aim at the Hour, naming Thomas and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) as riders with the potential to break it.
“It has to move on, records are there to be broken,” Wiggins said.
“I hope someone has the balls to get up and have a go themselves now. G’ [Thomas] could do it tomorrow with his track craft; Dumoulin at some point in the future. It’s whether they’ve got time to invest the time that Victor invested in it, in order to maybe fail.”
Campenaerts’ effort was the 11th attempt on the Hour Record since Wiggins set his distance of 54.526km in London in June 2015, however he is the first WorldTour rider to attempt it since Alex Dowsett in May 2015 when he was riding with Movistar.
Wiggins admitted however there was no real reward to entice WorldTour riders to the Hour Record, with 2018 Tour de France winner Thomas more likely to focus on reaping the benefits of major wins on the road.
“There’s no real reward for the hour. You don’t get a pay rise — you get nothing. It’s like getting a knighthood. You get sod all,” Wiggins said. “It’s made for Geraint. Geraint in Tour form last year. He could do it.”
In his weekly podcast Wiggins also said Mathieu van der Poel is “the hottest property in cycling right now” after his phenomenal comeback to win the Amstel Gold Race last Sunday.
Van der Poel came from a minute down on race leaders Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) to catch them in the final 500m and sprint past them to victory.”
“He is the hottest property in cycling at the moment other than Alaphilippe,” Wiggins said. “It’s scary to think what he might actually achieve by the time he’s [Philippe] Gilbert’s age.”
“I think [Van der Poel] could win a Grand Tour one day,” Wiggins added.