Wiggins appeared exhausted, collapsing on the ground after his win in the strenuous men’s trials. The cyclist took today’s second British gold medal, beating German favourite Tony Martin into silver.
32-year-old Wiggins is already familiar with the Olympic podium – previously holding three golds, one silver and two bronzes in track cycling – so today’s win makes him Britain’s most successful Olympian. Wiggins now surpasses Sir Steve Redgrave, who has a piffling five Olympic golds and one bronze.
Wiggins had said that he would be disappointed in anything but a gold today but despite Britain’s confidence that he would win a medal in the time trials, the cyclist himself was by no means certain.
At the start of the London 2012 Games, it was generally expected that Mark Cavendish had the best chance of bringing home a gold medal for Britain’s road cyclists.
Wiggins said: “You’d put more money on Cav winning the Olympics than me.”
World Time Trial champion and today’s silver medalist Tony Martin was, like Wiggins, surprisingly modest about his chances of gracing the London 2012 podium, confessing he expected to lose the event to the British star.
Martin has already had a victorious year, winning the Tour of Belgium, coming fifth at the Tour of the Basque Country and second at the Volta ao Algarve. Despite this, Martin said before the Olympics:
“There’s just one name and it’s Bradley Wiggins. He’s the one to beat,” said Martin.
“My goal for Wednesday is still a medal. I still hope for gold, but I don’t have much hope left”.
Martin was at a disadvantage, having injured his wrist. He was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France due to a bad crash on stage one.
The sympathy medal in today’s men’s time trials would certainly go to Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez who snapped his chain within a few seconds of starting, losing him 25 seconds in the race.
Final results of the Olympic men’s time trials
Gold: Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain): 50min 39sec
Silver: Tony Martin (Germany): 51min 21sec
Bronze: Chris Froome (Great Britain): 51min 47sec
Fourth: Marco Pinotti (Ita)
Fifth: Michael Rogers (Aus)