The freakish box-ticking of Bradley Wiggins – a World Championships Time Trial review

Sit Bradley Wiggins down, hand him a form and a ballpoint pen and ask him to tick some boxes. He’ll look at you with a surly look on his face and probably flick the pen at you in a fit of pique. Then he’ll look at the form, spot something he likes the look of and suddenly run out of the room. An hour later, he’ll be back with a big, fat, black marker pen and he’ll tick the shit out of that box.

The box that needed ticking

The World Championships Time Trial was a box that Wiggo liked the look of. Demoted from Tour de France leader to Giro leader to Tour support act to Tour of Britain winner to Tour of Britain contender, he’s seemed a fading force in recent times. Despite this, he still retained major ambitions. Wiggins wants to be remembered as one of the great time trialists and having already won national and Olympic titles, achieving that aim demanded that he also become world champion.

So that’s precisely what he did.

Beating the best in the world

It probably doesn’t really need stating explicitly, but it isn’t easy to become world champion. It’s not just that you need to perform better than everyone else, it’s also the fact that if you’re a time trialist ‘everyone else’ includes Tony Martin – a man who literally rides with the strength of several men. Martin became world champion in 2011 and also won in 2012 and 2013. He looked very, very unhappy on the second step of the podium.

Above him, Wiggins reprised the faintly nonplussed grinning he put to use on the Champs Elysées in 2012 and he can still undercut the moment of celebration as well. Asked what had gone through his mind when he woke up on the morning of the race, he answered: “I needed a wee.”

Wiggins beat Martin by 26 seconds over the 47.1km course. Dutchman, Tom Dumoulin, came third, another 14 seconds back. Dumoulin’s one to watch in coming years and will probably become world champion before too long. Wiggins won’t be worth watching because he says he isn’t competing in this event again. It’s Paris-Roubaix and an Hour Record attempt for him next season and then th’Olympics the year after.

What’s next?

The men’s road race is on Sunday. It’s quite open so I’ll do some sort of preview in the next day or so. The women’s road race is on Saturday but I don’t really know enough to preview that beyond the fact that Marianne Vos has been either first or second in each of the last eight editions.