Britain will be praying for its second Olympic gold medal of the day as Wiggins races but for the 32-year-old, a more personal victory is at stake. The cyclist has already stood atop the Olympic podium six time – with three golds, one silver and two bronzes in track cycling to his name – so another medal will make him Britain’s most successful Olympian.
Wiggins has said that he will be disappointed in anything but a gold medal in the London 2012 cycling event. Even a bronze, however, will mean he passes Sir Steve Redgrave, who has a piffling five Olympic golds and one bronze.
That Wiggins will grace the podium today is being seen as almost a given.
“We’re in the ballpark, for sure,” British men’s road coach, Rod Ellingworth, told The Independent.
“Bradley’s up for this [Wednesday] now as well and looking pretty good. He definitely could win this race.”
So who are Bradley Wiggins main rivals?
Fabian Cancellara took gold at the 2008 Olympics and is four times world champion although he lost a time trial to Wiggins at the Tour de France.
Cancellara has been unwell after fracturing his collarbone earlier in the season. He fell on Sautrday’s road race and suffered heavy bruising but no breaks.
“I feel better with every hour passing. The pain is still there, but I am in good hands. I am a hard man. I’ve had a lot of things happen this year,” an upbeat Cancellara said yesterday.
It was only confirmed on Monday that he would compete in the Olympic time trials.
World time-trial champion, Germany’s Tony Martin, is another of Wiggins’ top rivals. However, Martin too has been injured, fracturing his wrist in a Tour de France crash.
Martin has confessed to some awe at his British opponent’s prowess.
“There’s just one name and it’s Bradley Wiggins. He’s the one to beat,” said Martin.
“The surface of the road on the course is quite bad but I don’t think that’s too big a problem, because I’m leaning forward and will be resting on my arms”.
“My goal for Wednesday is still a medal. I still hope for gold, but I don’t have much hope left”.
Australian cyclist Michael Rogers rides for Team Sky. He is a three time World Time-Trial Champion and is a favourite for a medal in today’s Olympic event.
Born in Kenya, Chris Froome now rides under a British licence. He is on the UCI ProTour team and Team Sky. Frome finished second overall behind Wiggins in the 2012’s Tour de France, making the pair the first British riders to reach the podium in the history of the race.