Wiggins Wins World ITT Championship
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) is the world individual time trial champion. Wiggins powered away from three-time defending champion Tony Martin (Germany) to win the gold medal in the rolling, hilly, 47.1-km event in Ponferrada, Spain in 56:25. Martin settled for silver at 0:26, and Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands) took the bronze at 0:40 (Watch video highlights - viewable within the USA).
Alexandr Pliuschin (Moldova) set the early standard with a 59:13. Tanel Kangert (Estonia) eclipsed Pliuschin’s time with a 58:58, only to see Artem Ovechkin (Russia) better his time with a 58:43. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) obliterated Ovechkin’s mark with a 57:47.
When the better time trialists began riding, the times to beat began dropping. Vasil Kiriyienka (Belarus) took the lead with a 57:13, and Rohan Dennis (Australia) came within 0:10 of that time. Dumoulin powered home with a 57:06 with only Wiggins and Martin still on the road.
Wiggins was slower than Martin at the first time check, but the Briton had taken the lead at the second checkpoint and had gained more time on the course’s climb. Martin attempted to overtake Wiggins but failed to do so. Wiggins had become world time trial champion on what he says is his last attempt to do so.
"I knew coming into it I had the legs and when I saw the course I realized that if I was ever going to beat Tony again it would be on a course like this,” he said.
"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."
Martin, who was attempting to become the first man to win four consecutive world time trial championships, was disappointed at failing to attain his goal. He added that he might not have been in peak condition. "To be honest it's really hard to get beaten on a day like this," der Panzerwagen 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 analyze and do better next year. Congratulations to Bradley as he is a great talent in this discipline and deserves to be world champion," Martin explained.
Many of the riders in today’s race will cross swords in Sunday’s world road race championship 2014. Who will prevail? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!