Sir Sideburns wants Commonwealth gold, Vuelta as world championships launchpad

Sir Bradley Wiggins has said that he hopes to add a gold medal from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to his palmares this year, and to use Spain’s three-week grand tour, the Vuelta, as preparation for the world championships.

Speaking to Cyclingnews.com, Sir Bradley said: “I haven’t got a gold medal from the Commonwealths so it would be nice to add that on. It’s a couple of days after the Tour de France, so for the sake of carrying on for a few more days and doing it, I am down for it.”

But first he has to do the paperwork. “I’m glad you reminded me actually because I’ve got to fill a form in otherwise I can’t ride it,” he said.

Wiggins' first significant international success was at the Commonwealth Games when he was part of the England team that came second in the team pursuit at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

In 2002, at the Manchester games, he was second in the individual pursuit behind Australian Bradley McGee, his team-mate at Francaise des Jeux, and he was part of the silver-medal team pursuit squad; Australia was again the gold medal team.

While July's Tour de France remains his main priority for this season, he admitted he hadn’t yet looked at the route for even the three British stages. “I’m so focused on what’s coming up I haven’t looked,” he said, adding that he usually starts thinking about the Tour in April or May, not at the beginning of the season. “I know it starts in Leeds,” he said.

Nevertheless, he made the fairly safe prediction that the Tour grand départ will be huge.

“We’ve had experience of what it’s going to be like with the Olympics, and it’s going to be massive in England,” he said. “They are going to be some of the hardest days of the race as well because of the amount of people that are going to be there.

“The first stage is going to be a bunch sprint as it was in Corsica [in 2013] and I think that adds extra pressure because there a lot of people that can take the jersey. It’s going to be really challenging just to stay upright and out of trouble and to get into France having lost no time.”

After the Tour and the Vuelta, Wiggins has his sights on another title that has so far eluded him: the world time trial championship.

“I’d love to ride the Vuelta again, now that I’ve ticked the box of the Tour of Britain. I’d love to use it as preparation for the World Championships as Fabian [Cancellara] and Tony [Martin] tend to do every year and really try to have a good crack at the worlds in Spain this year.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.