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Time trialling will be ‘a little bit boring’ without Wiggins says Tony Martin

“He was the one I was – or still am – most scared of”

Three-time world time trial champion, Tony Martin, says that he will miss his rivalry with Sir Bradley Wiggins now that the British rider is focusing on the track. However, it seems likely that one last battle is still to play out with Martin also considering an hour record attempt.

Speaking to the BBC, Martin said he was somewhat taken aback when Wiggins announced that he was moving away from the road.

"I was very surprised – he's not so old, is he? But he will fight for the gold medal in Rio and it doesn't really matter if it's on the road or the track. I wish him all the best. He's super smart and a nice guy."

Martin took time trial silver behind Wiggins at the London Olympics and also saw his world time trial crown finally wrested away from him by the same rider earlier this year. That result came after three successive titles from 2011 to 2013 with Wiggins twice the runner-up. Martin says their rivalry has been both respectful and friendly.

"We were always good contenders, always fair. He was the one I was – or still am – most scared of. You never know with Bradley, he can make a great time, or maybe nothing. But without him it will be a little bit boring sometimes – we'll miss him in the races."

Speaking to Cycling News, Martin said that there were plenty of other riders for him to watch out for at the next Worlds time trial in Richmond – not least his other long-standing rival, Fabian Cancellara.

“He has the goal now on the track for the Olympics and I totally understand him and there are still a lot of other guys who are very good. It’s not just about Bradley Wiggins and I think also Cancellara will come back for the time trial Worlds. It will be interesting for sure.”

However, Martin and Wiggins have not quite finished duelling just yet. Wiggins is one of a number of riders planning an attempt on the hour record this year and it seems Martin is likely to be another.

Describing the Hour as ‘a super interesting topic for me’, he said the format of the challenge appealed to him.

"Hopefully, it's a record for the future – you can compare it across the years. It's not like a time trial where (the course) is different, or the distance – it's one hour under the same circumstances.

"I would do it even if Wiggo wasn't doing it, but it's a nice story when the biggest time triallists fight against each other. Every race needs the big riders, so maybe Cancellara will also do it."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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J90 | 9 years ago

I bet he's relieved really. He'll be the World TT Champion for years to come.

I think Martin might pip everyone to take the hour record but Wiggins is training for the track, so he might well edge it, very hard to call. Exciting times!

sanderville | 9 years ago

Does Wiggins going to the track mean that Tony Martin now costs 100 points in the fantasy cycling?

dafyddp | 9 years ago

Compared to other sports, there does seem to be a lot of mutual respect at the top of cycling disciplines at the moment which is great. Froome was citing Contador as his big rival (and visa versa), and Tony Martin's comments seem very genuine.

Despite all the doom-and-gloom about drugs and other nonsense, I think we'll look back and appreciate this time as one of those 'golden ages'.

truffy | 9 years ago

Or perhaps he wants to quit on a high, and not be remembered as the guy who faded out. I certainly wouldn't knock him for that.

Guerch to Church | 9 years ago

Its really hard to walk away from something you get paid well at while you're still good at it. But he feels it doesn't suit him well, if he makes his mark in track he'll probably be a roadie again. Who knows.

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