Road World Championships: Bradley Wiggins targeting time-trial greatness in Florence
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 25/09/13 11:10am
Bradley Wiggins is the reigning Olympic champion
Sir Bradley Wiggins will bid to establish himself as a time trial great today when he goes head to head with Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin at the Road World Championships in Tuscany.
The race pits together the three outstanding time-triallists of the current era, with Wiggins aiming to add the rainbow jersey to his Olympic crown, Cancellara looking for a fifth world title and Martin targeting a third in a row.
Should he prevail on a flat, 57.9km course ending in Florence, Wiggins would become only the second man in history after Cancellara to hold both the Olympic and world time-trial titles at the same time.
And if he succeeds, he is already planning to further cement his legacy by adding the Commonwealth and British gold medals next summer to complete an unprecedented quadruple.
"It would be fantastic, just to add the world title to the Olympic title would be up there with my best achievements," Wiggins said.
"To go down as having been a good time-triallist, that is important. You didn't just win the odd time trial through misfortune or whatever - you won the Olympic title, you won the world title, [and then] try and win the Commonwealth next year and the British and have it all under one reign.
'Ready to go'
Time trial titles
- Fabian Cancellara: 4 x world champion (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), 1 x Olympic champion (2008)
- Tony Martin: 2 x world champion (2011, 2012)
- Bradley Wiggins: 1 x Olympic champion (2012)
"I feel good - just focused and ready to go. I know what I have got to do. I have just got to go out and put it together. If I can finish this week off in the rainbow jersey, that would be ideal."
Although Wiggins accepts other riders could spring a surprise, he anticipates only himself, Martin and Cancellara will challenge for the gold medal.
He has utmost respect for both men and believes any one of the three of them could come out on top.
"On paper, there are three of us in it," Wiggins added. "On any given day we could all beat one another.
"I have known Fabian since I was a junior. He won the junior time trial worlds in 1998. I was 16th in the time trial in Valkenburg and he won it.
"The first time I thought I would get close to him was at the [2007 Tour de France] prologue in London, but he demolished us all there.
"The first time ever I got the better of him was at Bayern Rundfahrt in 2011, and he has never beaten me since then. But then someone else came along, Tony Martin.
"It will be one of the best courses I have ridden. It is very straightforward. It is going to be tough for a lot of people, but if you are in good shape, it is a great course."
"He was outstanding at the 2011 worlds in Copenhagen and a year out from the [London] Olympics, we never thought we were going to beat this guy. Slowly but surely, though, we have all raised our game again and we are all at a similar level now."
Despite only arriving in Tuscany on Monday after completing his overall victory at the Tour of Britain a day earlier, Wiggins has had chance to study the course and is happy with what he has seen.
"It is a beautiful course," he said. "It will be one of the best courses I have ridden. It is very straightforward. It is going to be tough for a lot of people, but if you are in good shape, it is a great course.
"I was lucky to get out on the course behind one of the Irish riders and follow him for most of it. If I was going to design a course it would have been this one.
"It suits Tony more so than Fabian, but they might not be the biggest challengers tomorrow. At the end of the day you have just got to go out, put your ride together and see where that gets you."
Key start times (all BST): Alex Dowsett 1.52pm, Taylor Phinney 2.07pm, Bradley Wiggins 2.09pm, Fabian Cancellara 2.10pm, Tony Martin 2.12pm.