Bradley Wiggins: Team GB will bring A-game on track at 'unpredictable' Tokyo Olympic Games
The velodrome has been a successful place for Team GB at the last few Olympics, with seven gold medals at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and six at Rio 2016. Although there has been a lack of preparation ahead of Tokyo 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Bradley Wiggins thinks Team GB will be strong again.
‘A lot of athletes will be in a better position’ – Wiggins on delayed Olympics
Wiggins, who won five Olympic gold medals during his career, thinks it will be “unpredictable”, but expects Team GB will be well prepared to handle the challenges.
“It’s the first big track competition since March 2020. We haven’t seen the likes of Laura Kenny and Jason Kenny,” he told Eurosport.
“We haven’t had a world title race on the track since March 2020 so there is nothing to go on and for the track squad who race very little anyway…for the road riders it’s a lot easier because they are still able to go out and train outdoors.
“The Danish team pursuit smashed the world record in March 2020 when the Olympics were still on and they have had to wait another 18 months to get a shot at it. There’s no form guide for the velodrome.
Britain always brings their A-game to the velodrome, that’s what the whole program is about, it’s a medal factory. You can be sure nothing will have phased them. The best athletes are the ones who aren’t phased. It’s ones who can adapt quickly. This is a big delay but you will find the best athletes are the ones who can deal with these setbacks.
Jason Kenny will be looking for his seventh gold to move into the outright lead on the all-time leaderboard of gold medals for Team GB - an honour he currently shares with Sir Chris Hoy – while wife Laura Kenny has won four gold medals.
‘It was the loneliest place to be’ - Wiggins on the nerves of an Olympic final
Reflecting on his time on the track for Team GB, Wiggins added: “There’s nothing like the hotbed of an Olympic final. That feeling will never go away, the beeps, the 60-second countdown, the 10 seconds, they will haunt me.
“When I hear them at the track it always brings back memories of Athens, Beijing, so I’m looking forward to that. When you are stood on the line being held you can sense the crowd is meters away, there’s nothing like that. It’s the moment where four years can go down the toilet because you can lose your mind.
“GB have [psychiatrist] Steve Peters on board and he used to try and help me combat that, but no person alive could me combat that. The last 10 seconds [before the race] was the loneliest place to be.”
Watch every unmissable moment from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games live on Discovery+ and the Eurosport app