Wiggo’s Hour Record on his Arione!

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Sir Bradley Wiggins smashed the UCI Hour Record yesterday evening at London’s Lee Velley VeloPark – riding his trusty fi’zi:k Arione, complete with gold trim.

Freshly clean-shaven for aerodynamic advantage, Wiggins set a new record of 54.526km in a metronomic display of head-down discipline, pushing a massive 58x14 gear. The 2012 Tour de France winner has stayed with the same model of saddle from his Team Sky days – the Arione – knowing that every detail needed to be correct for the attempt.

There were factors he couldn’t control, such as the air pressure, which was higher than he had hoped for, creating a marginal disadvantage – another element to calculate for and battle against. But Wiggins is a master of such calculations. He worked his equipment hard and pushed his body to the absolute limit:

“I'm glad it's done," said Wiggins after the new record was set, "That's the closest I will come to knowing what it's like to have a baby.

"It's torturous. It's such a relief and was such a build-up. We've been through so much, my wife and children know so much about air pressure now."

Wiggins set a fast pace early on – his eyes on overhauling the mark of 52.937km, set by fellow Britain Alex Dowsett (riding a fi’zi:k Antares VS). That early pace did drop a little, but the record stayed on track throughout. As the clock counted down it became clear that this was going to be a major new milestone, and Wiggins passed Dowsett's 212-lap record with 1min 42sec to spare – and went on to complete another 6 laps.

The Hour Record has changed hands three times during 2015, with Dowsett picking up the mantle on 2 May from Australian rider Rohan Dennis (fi’zi:k Arione and R3B shoes) whose 52.491km mark was set on 8 February. Sir Bradley’s mark certainly looks a big challenge to chase.

Wiggins joins an elite band of only six cyclists who have held the Hour Record and won the Tour de France – and of them, Wiggins’ boyhood hero Miguel Indurain was amongst the capacity crowd at the Lee Valley Velodrome to cheer him on.

"It's done now. I always compare myself to the greats and I am just glad to be in the company of those guys. To get up there and do that... to put yourself on the line takes a lot of courage and it's a mental game as much as anything.”