Sir Bradley Wiggins says he has 'raised the bar' of the hour record
But Briton is left to rue unfavourable conditions in velodrome
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 08/06/15 12:00pm
Sir Bradley Wiggins believes his new UCI Hour Record of 54.526km has "raised the bar" for future attempts and insisted he could not have performed any better.
Wiggins eclipsed the previous record by 1.589km but fell short of his target distance of 55.250km due largely to high air pressure inside London's Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome.
It was nevertheless the second-largest increase on the record in the event's official history and biggest since 1894, and Wiggins is confident it will be difficult to break.
He said: "That has raised the bar a fair bit to what the existing record was. For sure, it will deter people, or make them think twice about it, because it has been a bit of a rush up to now, so it's the first real big marker.
"I couldn't have done any more today with the conditions. It was probably the worst weekend we could have done it in the last couple of months, so that was about as far as I was going to go under those conditions.
"It's perhaps not as far as I would have dreamed or hoped had the conditions been different, but I'm satisfied nonetheless."
The air pressure inside the velodrome was 1,036 millibars, and Wiggins believes even a small decrease would have translated to a large increase in his final distance.
He added: "I reckon if the pressure was 1,000 dead, I would have gone about 700m further. If I had a really freak day and got 980 I still reckon I would have got close to Chris Boardman's [now defunct 1996 record of 56.375km] - maybe not surpassed it but certainly close to that 56km mark."
Wiggins produced a superbly composed ride and rarely moved his body position on the bike, which previous riders who had attempted the record had been forced to do.
He admitted in a press conference afterwards that he had not suffered too badly physically but had felt the strain mentally.
He added: "Not physically. It was a mental challenge more than anything. There were a couple of laps where I wavered a bit on the laps splits.
"The last 10-12 minutes took care of themselves. I was in a lot of pain in the last 10 minutes but more from the saddle from anything else."
Despite not suffering the "horrific" pain experienced by his predecessors, Wiggins ruled out the prospect of looking to better his record and will instead focus solely on racing on the track at next year's Olympic Games.
"I won't go for it again," he added. "This is my end of the season now and I’ll start building again for the track programme through to the European championships and the track winter programme to the worlds in March.
"By the time I have a little break and got back on the bike, we will be a year away from the Olympics, so timing-wise it's difficult. It was now or never in many ways."