Sir Bradley Wiggins' top-five greatest career achievements
From Tour to Hour and Olympic golds, we list Wiggo's best
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 08/06/15 12:44pm
Breaking the UCI Hour Record was the latest addition to a long list of marquee achievements in the career of Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Wiggins himself was reluctant to say how it compared with his previous feats, so we won’t attempt to rank them either.
But here – in chronological order only – are his top five…
Golden double in Beijing
Wiggins won gold in the individual pursuit at the 2004 Olympic in Athens, but it wasn’t until he won both the individual pursuit and team pursuit at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing that he established himself as one of Britain’s greatest Olympians. He started by comfortably defeating New Zealand’s Hayden Roulston in the individual pursuit final by more than two and a half seconds, and returned two days later to win team gold alongside Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning.
Winning the Tour de France
Wiggins became the first Briton in history to win cycling's biggest and most prestigious event after a meticulously planned and expertly executed three weeks of racing. He won two stages along the way – both individual time trials – and held the lead for 13 days.
London 2012 time-trial win
Just 10 days after sealing his Tour triumph, Wiggins delivered another iconic victory by winning the Olympic time trial in front of his home fans in London. He was expected to have a nip-and-tuck battle with the reigning world time-trial champion, Tony Martin, but Wiggins blew the German away to win by 42 seconds and claim his fourth Olympic gold medal.
Winning the world time-trial title
Wiggins was already widely regarded as one of the greatest time-triallists of all time, but there was one glaring omission from his CV: the world time-trial title. Once again, his main rival going into the 2014 event was Martin, who had won the last three world titles and was favourite to make it four in a row. However, Wiggins produced one of the finest single performances of his career – Sir Dave Brailsford is still awe-struck by it today – to beat Martin by 26 seconds. The result made him the reigning British, Olympic and world time-trial champion.
Breaking the UCI Hour Record
The hour record is one of cycling’s oldest and most prestigious events and has been held by some of the sport’s greatest names, including Eddy Merckx, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain. Wiggins was looking to beat Alex Dowsett’s record of 52.937km and not only achieved that, but did so by a margin of 1.589km – the second-largest record-breaking margin the hour’s official history. It also made him the reigning Olympic, world and British time-trial champion and hour record-holder.