Sir Bradley Wiggins book extract: I started UCI Hour Record too fast
Last Updated: 11/12/15 9:26am
Sir Bradley Wiggins' new book, My Hour, was released on Thursday.
It is a personal, behind-the-scenes account of his attempt to break the iconic UCI Hour Record in London in June.
In this first of three extracts being published by Sky Sports, Wiggins talks through the first few minutes of the challenge...
I'm out of the gate, and all the initial questions - how will you feel? How will you manage it? - are being answered.
'Yes, I'm feeling pretty good here, the bike feels good, the position feels good, the crowd are in, it's not too hot in here, I've got a good line, it feels fast, there's no wind, all the doors must be shut, I can hear a girl shouting as I come into the back straight, I wonder if my family are in the track centre, they must be, I saw them earlier.'
I'm focused on the effort but it's quite easy, and because the effort is easy you can think about other things. My mind isn't wavering - yet - and my legs are fresh. I'm just controlling the pace, but I'm having to make myself do it. I've got Heiko Salzwedel, my trainer, standing by the trackside with my lap time on his computer, and that's my guide.
After the first few laps, it starts to dawn on me: I'm lapping way faster than the pace I should be riding. I've gone out quite hard, compared to the standing starts I was doing in training on the track during the week.
For those practice efforts I'd been starting slowly; it had been taking me a couple of laps to get up to speed. I'd been going out of the blocks really conservatively because Heiko had said, 'Even if it takes you five minutes to get up to pace, it's only ten seconds lost, so who cares - this is an hour-long effort.'
Even yesterday, when we did a standing five-kilometre effort, I started quite hard and it took me three or four laps to start seeing the lap time drop to 16.3sec. This feels really easy, but all at once I realise I've left the gate with what I believed to be the same level of effort, but after two laps I'm already down to just over 15sec for a lap. That pace would give me 4min 15sec for a 4,000m pursuit, which is around the Olympic record I set in Beijing in 2008.
I can see Heiko waving furiously at me from the trackside: I've got to slow down. It has to be the adrenalin, or maybe the couple of espressos I knocked back before coming up into the track centre.
It's only lap four, and I'm physically lifting my feet off the pedals to bring the pace right back down - whoa, whoa, float round the banking here, break the momentum, like trying to stop a pendulum swinging further than it should - and now I've settled right back in to 16.3sec, which is what I need to break Tony Rominger's record.
That's the first thing I've found out: this is a completely different event on the day compared to how you train. I'm sitting on 16.3sec quite comfortably for a couple of minutes, thinking, 'Sod the high air pressure, I can get Rominger's record, maybe it's still on, this is fine.' I'm constantly weighing up what it feels like, and gradually I start to drift back on to 16.4sec, then to 16.5.
MY HOUR by Bradley Wiggins, published by Yellow Jersey Press, £20.00