Wiggins overtakes rowing great Redgrave | india | Hindustan Times
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Wiggins overtakes rowing great Redgrave

india Updated: Aug 01, 2012 22:19 IST

AFP
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Bradley Wiggins took a step towards being named Britain's greatest ever Olympian on Wednesday after overtaking former rower Steve Redgrave's tally of six medals following his men's time trial win.

With five golds and one bronze medal, Redgrave is widely considered Britain's greatest ever Olympian.

However, he could soon lose that accolade to Wiggins after his fellow Englishman added a fourth career Olympic gold -- and seventh Games medal in all -- to his recent and historic victory in the Tour de France.

Before his time trial triumph Wiggins held a total of six Olympic medals and six world titles - all from the track.

He had previously won three Olympic golds in the velodrome - two individual pursuit titles from 2004 and 2008 as well as the team pursuit gold in 2008.

At Athens in 2004 the 32-year-old Londoner also won team pursuit silver and a Madison bronze, while at his maiden Games in 2000 he won team pursuit bronze.

Wiggins has since foregone the track to concentrate on road racing.

Since a breakthrough fourth place at the 2009 Tour de France and a subsequent move to Team Sky, the Englishman has come on leaps and bounds in road racing.

In 2011 another breakthrough result came when he won the Criterium du Dauphine, a crucial warm-up for the Tour de France and which is one of France's most prestigious stage races.

Wiggins competed at the 2011 Tour, but crashed out with a broken collarbone on stage seven. He put his Grand Tour credentials on display barely two months later with a third place finish at the Tour of Spain and then went on to win silver behind Germany's Tony Martin in the time trial world championships.

Although benefiting from the very best of sports science - Team Sky have one of the biggest budgets in the professional peloton - Wiggins has also put in the hard work and sacrifice needed to succeed.

In preparation for his 2012 yellow jersey campaign he spent several months away from his wife and two children in London to train at high altitude in Tenerife

His efforts paid off early in the season with with devastating effect, when he won Paris-Nice. He then went on to win the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland, and defended his Dauphine title only weeks before the Tour de France.

Over three weeks of racing in July, Wiggins won both time trials on the race - on stages nine and 19 - and relied on his Sky team to set a pace in the mountains which deterred many of his rivals from attacking.

His victory on Wednesday was Britain's first cycling gold of the Games, and is likely to give his former track teammates a boost a day ahead of six days of competition in the velodrome.