June 20 2013 Latest news:
Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, wants to win his fourth gold medal and help Mark Cavendish of Britain, center right in rainbow jersey win his first. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Kilburn boy Bradley Wiggins is not settling for being the first British winner of the Tour de France and is targeting Olympic gold in London.
A 13-year-old Wiggins in 1993 caught the Eurostar from London to Paris with his mother and watched by the Champs-Elysees as Miguel Indurain won the third of his five Tour titles.
Now the 32-year-old, after claiming a first yellow jersey, is keen to add to his haul of three Olympic gold medals, help world champion Mark Cavendish win the road race on the opening day of London 2012 and continue to improve - and win.
And he intends to do the same again in Saturday’s 250km Olympic road race, which finishes on The Mall.
Wiggins’ Olympic priority is the August 1 Hampton Court time-trial, but after demonstrating a full range of talents at the Tour, he sees no reason he cannot do the same in London.
He added: “I’ve just done a world-class time-trial, averaging a ridiculous amount of power, after three weeks’ bike racing and two really tough Pyrenees stages, a 222km stage at 44kph average speed with a leadout in the final (on Friday to Brive-la-Gaillarde, as Cavendish won).
“Once you start thinking in those terms, that you’re so fit and you’ve trained for the demands of the three weeks and you’ve actually got three days off in between the road race and the time-trial, it shouldn’t be a problem.
“If anything, I’m going to be fresher.”
Imperious victories in the Tour’s two long time-trials, stage nine to Besancon and the penultimate day to Chartres, have given Wiggins the belief that a fourth Olympic gold, after three on the track, could be close.
“If I’m 100% honest, it’s gold or nothing in London now,” said Wiggins, who, with six, is equal with Sir Steve Redgrave as the Briton with the most Olympic medals.
“That’s the way I’m treating the next nine days. I’ve set a precedent now for performances.
“I can’t sit and say I’ll be happy with a silver, or happy with a bronze.”
For Wiggins, gold on day five of his fourth Olympics, and one in his home town, would cap a spectacular year.
“Coming off the back of this, it will kind of add the hundreds and thousands on the cake,” said Wiggins, who was set to be given time off to go home to Lancashire early this week before joining the Olympic squad at their Surrey base.
“As it stands, the icing is on it. We’ve just got to put the little cherry on top.”
Wiggins’ performance has captured the public imagination and he takes pleasure from the thought that someone watching will use him as inspiration, like he did with Indurain.
“It’s nice because you are actually doing something with your life that is inspirational,” he added.
“I don’t want to be a role model as a person, because I’m only human at the end of the day.
“I make mistakes like everyone in life. I don’t want to break people’s perception of me if I do something they don’t like.
“In a sporting sense, fire away. Love me to bits.”