Wiggins wants to put Hour record beyond reach


England's Bradley Wiggins trains in the Chris Hoy Velodrome ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

LONDON (Reuters) - Bradley Wiggins believes he can put the Hour world record "out of reach" when he tackles one of cycling's toughest challenges next month at London's Olympic velodrome.

A few weeks after fellow Briton Alex Dowsett set a new world record of 52.937 kilometres in Manchester, Olympic time trial champion Wiggins says it is not a matter of "if" he can better that distance, but by how much.

"It sounds a bit horrible to say, but I think I could break the record tomorrow," the 35-year-old Wiggins, who recently left Team Sky to return to the track, said in an interview in The Times on Wednesday.

"But I don't just want to break it, I want to put it right up there, as far out of reach as I can."

The seven-times Olympic medallist who left his track roots to become the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012, believes he can add two kilometres to Dowsett's mark.

"I've got 55km in my head and I believe that's realistic," he said. "And I think if I do that it will stand for 20 years."

Wiggins is not downplaying the iconic challenge which has seen four riders break the record in the last eight months, but believes riding around 220 laps of the velodrome at virtually full bore is no worse than anything he faced on the road.

"I don't see it as being any harder than climbing the Ventoux to save fourth place in the Tour de France," he said.

"I can't see it being any harder than keeping concentration for three weeks to win the Tour, or riding around Hampton Court with the weight of expectation to win Olympic gold.

"I've been in a lot of pressure situations, I know what I can do."

"The challenge is dealing with the heat, the crowd, pacing yourself early when the crowd is egging you on," he added.

Once he has completed his Hour attempt, his focus will return to Rio 2016 where Wiggins is eyeing a fifth Olympic gold medal and a British record-extending eighth in all.

"Whatever happens, that'll be it after Rio," he said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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