Bradley Wiggins Takes Gold Medal in London Olympics

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08/1/2012| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Great Britain's Tour de France Champion Bradley Wiggins wins Olympic gold medal in the men's individual time trial in London ahead of Germany's Tony Martin and Great Britain's Christopher Froome. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Great Britain's Tour de France Champion Bradley Wiggins wins Olympic gold medal in the men's individual time trial in London ahead of Germany's Tony Martin and Great Britain's Christopher Froome. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Bradley Wiggins Takes Gold Medal in London Olympics

Bradley Wiggins won the gold medal in the time trial at the 2012 London Olympic Games earlier this afternoon, sealing his place in British Olympic history.

Bradley Wiggins won the gold medal in the time trial at the 2012 London Olympic Games earlier this afternoon, sealing his place in British Olympic history.

The Tour de France champion powered his way to victory on the 44-kilometer course south of London to win his seventh Olympic medal, taking over the British record he shared with rowing great Steve Redgrave.

Wiggins covered the course in 50 minutes, 39.54 seconds, beating silver medalist and time trial World Champion Tony Martin of Germany by 42 seconds. Tour de France runner-up Christopher Froome of Great Britain won the bronze, capping off a phenomenal summer for British road cycling.

Wiggins, who became the first British rider to win the Tour de France last month, won his fourth Olympic gold medal after winning three titles in Athens and Beijing -- in individual and team pursuit.

After breaking his collarbone during last year's Tour de France, he came back stronger than ever and has been nearly unbeatable this season, especially in long time trials, where he is undefeated in 2012.

The 32-year-old Londoner was second to last of the 37 riders to roll down the ramp and was second at the first time check, after 7.3 kilometers, trailing Tony Martin by 5 seconds.

The flat nature of the course, taking the riders on narrow roads in Surrey, perfectly suited Wiggins, who carried his former pursuit specialist skills into his favorite discipline when he quit track cycling after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Riding in the middle of a sea of British fans dressed in red, blue and white -- some of them even sporting Wiggins' signature sideburns -- the Tour champion stayed cool and kept going as he gradually picked up the pace to post the best time at the second check point, at the 18.4-kilometer mark, 11 seconds ahead of Martin.

Wiggins showed no sign of fatigue from Saturday's road race and clocked the best time at the third intermediate before passing time trial specialist Luis Leon Sanchez of Spain.

Sanchez, a four-time national champion in the time trial, had a problem with his bike chain on the starting ramp and had to change his bike after only 10 meters.

Sanchez's fortunes did not improve, and the Spaniard had to change his bike again after another mechanical problem. American Taylor Phinney, who placed 4th in Saturday's Olympic road race, overtook him a few kilometers later and finished 4th in today's Olympic time trial too.

"It's a good result, but I can't believe I got fourth twice," Phinney told Roadcycling.com after completing today's time trial and added "I think the main positive is that I'm up with the best guys in the world in a time trial at a length I'm not comfortable in."

"I'm heartbroken again. Fourth is great for me, but it's so close to a medal and the top three is all that matters. When I think about last year, 15th in Copenhagen (in the time trial at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships), fourth is definitely good for me," Phinney concluded.

Wiggins became

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