Bradley Wiggins caps great year with gold

Bradley Wiggins burnished his already gleaming reputation with another gold medal. The Tour De France champion claimed Olympic gold in the time trial, finishing well ahead of his nearest challenger. When he mounted the podium outside Hampton Court Palace, he became the most decorated British Olympian of all time, beating Sir Steven Redgrave’s record.

"To be mentioned in the same breath as Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy is very special," Wiggins said. "Winning Olympic gold in your home country is incredible. That’s it now. Winning the Tour De France then the Olympic gold here: my sports career can never top this." A breath later he was promising to be back in the Olympic team for Rio.

Wiggins paced himself steadily in the early stages of the race, but was already fastest by the time he had completed a quarter of the course. World champion Tony Martin of Germany finished a long way behind in second, narrowly edging out another Briton Chris Froome. Froome, who was second in the Tour De France, capped a brilliant season with an Olympic bronze.

Wiggins made a point of mentioning the incredible support he had received during the race. One of the few Olympic events that isn’t ticketed, the time trial attracted huge crowds lining the roads, many of them modelling Wiggins-style sideburns.

"When I came into Kingston, the noise was just incredible," Wiggins said, "then to finish the race in a beautiful place like this, in front of the castle, it’s just so British." A knighthood must be just around the corner.

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