Sir Bradley Wiggins book extract: End of UCI Hour Record was horrific
Last Updated: 20/11/15 9:09am
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 second of three extracts being published by Sky Sports, Wiggins talks about surviving the last few minutes of the challenge...
Seven minutes to go. I tell myself, 'Try not to look at the clock for ten laps now.' Two laps later, I can't help it. 'Six minutes.' I'm glancing at that damned screen all the time. I can't get away from it. I can't ignore it. I want to get off the bike.
It's not just the actual effort of turning that blasted gear at 105 revs per minute, and thinking, 'Banking, straight, banking, straight,' it's a feeling: 'I need to get off this bloody bike now.' It's horrific, really painful.
Then there's the numbness - I've barely got any feeling between my stomach and my thighs. I'm trying to block out the pain in my backside: I want to move around in the saddle but the slightest shift in position makes it worse. My mouth is drying up: how hot is it in here now? It can't still be 28 degrees?
I'm in that red zone where you can't go any harder, you're just hanging on to your pace, you're waiting for it to end. I've got to keep my form: avoid hitting those sandbags on the left, keep watching that black line.
I know my head is dropping, I can feel my line changing, then I pull it back, each time it's harder. I'm definitely a bit out of it now. I'm keeping the effort going, but the splits tell me I'm going slightly slower all the time; I haven't hit the wall yet, but it's not far away. I'm trying to stop clock-watching but I just can't help looking. How can each minute take so long to pass?
It's the last five minutes; the fatigue distracts me from my pedalling on one banking, so I lose a little bit, come round, see a slower lap split, then pedal harder to make up for it.
The drift between the splits seems huge. So I pedal too hard in the straight and recover on the banking, which is completely wrong. This is just about survival. I'm losing it.
MY HOUR by Bradley Wiggins, published by Yellow Jersey Press, £20.00