Third place on the Thames for five-time Olympic cycling champion at Veterans Head of the River rowing race

It’s 20 years since Sir Bradley Wiggins made a cycling podium at the UCI Junior World Championships in 1998 when he won the individual pursuit – and while he may not have been on the top step today at the Veterans Head of the River Race on London’s River Thames, we imagine he’ll be satisfied with his third place finish today in his first outing on the water.

The five-time Olympic cycling gold medallist has made the switch to rowing, apparently with an eye to claiming a place in one of Team GB’s boats at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

It’s an ambitious objective, and one that at the age of 37 is in all likelihood behind him, not least because with less than two and a half years to go until the Games start, British Rowing will already have identified the rowers likely to merit a seat.

And that's before you take any other considerations into account, such as the controversy Wiggins has found himself embroiled in over the past year and a half due to the Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted to him and the whole Jiffy Bag episode.

More than 200 coxed crews took part in Sunday’s race which saw them set off in sequence on the four-and-a-half-mile Championship Course on the Thames from Mortlake to Putney, rowing in the opposite direction on the Tideway to Saturday’s Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Races.

Seeded seventh, the Thames Scullers School crew Wiggins rowed with finished third overall, beaten by winners Molesley Boat Club and Thames Rowing Club, and also finished second to Molesey in the Men’s Master’s B coxed eights category that both were in.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.