Sir Bradley Wiggins has won the UCI World Championship Time Trial in Ponferrada , Spain, to add to the Olympic title he won in London two years ago. Once again, the man he beat into second place was Germany’s Tony Martin, today by the impressive margin of 26 seconds, with Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands third, a further quarter of a minute back.
It had been billed as a two-horse race, particularly in the absence of four-time champion Fabian Cancellara, and that’s how it turned out as only Martin and Wiggins occupied the fastest two spots in the list of split times throughout.
At the first, the German, seeking his fourth successive win, led by 4 seconds, but Wiggins had edged ahead at the second and by the third, with the tougher, hillier part of the 47.1km course still to come, he was 10 seconds ahead.
Wiggins is the only man to have won the Tour de France and to have been an Olympic and world champion on both the road and the track.
He becomes only the second British male winner of the rainbow jersey in the discipline after Chris Boardman won the first edition in 1994 – David Millar’s 2003 victory was taken away from him after he admitted to doping the following year.
Sir Bradley Wiggins, new World Time Trial Champion
“I don't know what to say. I knew coming into it I had the legs and when I saw the course I realised that if I was ever going to beat Tony again it would be on a course like this.
"It's been an up-and-down year and I want to dedicate this to my family. My wife and children back home have always been there for me and had to put up with me. This was my last world time trial championships, so to finish it with a gold medal – I don't know what to say.
I've prepared for things like this so many times in the past and when I know the form and the condition is there, I'm quite relaxed. I know what I have to do once I get out on the bike, so it's just a case of waiting all day. The weather turned out good and I had a good team time trial on Sunday – knew I was strong there so... job done.
"I knew the difference would be made on that final loop. I paced it perfectly and I still had gas in the final. Even on that last descent, I heard I was 10 seconds up but I was pushing all the way and not taking any risks. It was superb.
"The hour record is my next big goal now, but to add the world title to the British title and the Olympic title means I've got the set, so it's very good, fantastic."
Runner-up, Tony Martin
"To be honest it's really hard to get beaten on a day like this," Martin said. "I was motivated, I had the goal to get the gold medal again today. Nothing else counted for me. Even the silver medal doesn't make it better for me to be honest, but I know it is still a good result.
"I'm really disappointed, but that's cycling, that's sport. I'm not a machine. I know that almost everyone expected me to win, but I always said a few riders, especially Bradley, always have a big chance. I already felt tired in the team time trial. For sure it wasn't best for the morale and preparation for today.
"I was a little tired also today and I think that was the biggest factor. I couldn't battle Bradley in the final of this race with my condition. Now I have to analyse and do better next year. Congratulations to Bradley as he is a great talent in this discipline and deserves to be world champion."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.