An eventful week for Sir Bradley Wiggins continued with confirmation that he will make his competitive rowing debut at the British Indoor Championships. The environment shouldn’t prove too alien to him as the event takes place at London's Olympic Velodrome on Saturday December 9.
UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) this week closed its investigation into Team Sky and British Cycling without charges, having failed to identify the contents of the package delivered to Wiggins at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Wiggins himself has expressed displeasure at the investigation as well as at Ukad’s tone when announcing its closure. The MP heading an inquiry into doping in sport subsequently expressed his belief that “a cloud now hangs over one of our greatest Olympians”.
But while the saga still rumbles on, Wiggins’ cycling career is behind him and he has now turned his attention to rowing.
Speaking in June, he explained: “I took up rowing when I retired just to keep fit, but my numbers started getting quite good so I've started taking it up professionally now and getting coached seven days a week.
“I'm doing the British Championships in December, and I'm going to see how far I can take it, maybe a sixth Olympic gold?”
The BBC reports that the 37-year-old will compete in the 2,000m race which was last year won by Adam Neil in a time of 5m46.5s.
Somewhat alarmingly for those of us of a similar age, there’s also a ‘Masters’ event for 30-to-39-year-olds. Last year this was won by Tomasz Cichocki in 6m04.5s
Switching between cycling and rowing is not unheard of. Rebecca Romero is one athlete who went the opposite way. She took the individual pursuit at Beijing in 2008 (where Wiggins won the men's event) four years after winning a silver medal in the quadruple sculls in Athens.