Tour de France 2014: Sir Bradley Wiggins yet to decide his future despite reports that he will remain with Team Sky

Wiggins is preparing to compete in the Commonwealth Games but his Team Sky contract is up at the end of the year

Just over a week ago, Chris Froome was the man calling every single shot within Team Sky - and he was the overwhelming favourite to defend his Tour de France title.

Fast-forward nine days and the seemingly forgotten face of Bradley Wiggins is once again at the forefront of British cycling headlines.

They say a week is a long time in politics, and the same is true for cycling. As Froome nurses the multiple injuries that have knocked him out of the Tour, so Wiggins is preparing a new stage in his career - but it is not yet known whether it will be at Team Sky.

Reports in Italy suggested that the 2012 Tour de France winner wants to remain with his current team, but The Independent understands that he is yet to make a decision on his future.

A spokesman from the Wiggins camp told The Independent that while positive ongoing talks have taken place, no new deal has been signed, and he could wait until the end of autumn before making a decision.

The response comes after an Italian newspaper published quotes attributed to Wiggins in which it is claimed he said he would like to remain at Team Sky, but recognises that he is no longer a contender for the Grand Tours.

“I’m going to stay at Sky,” the report in Gazzetta dello Sport said.

Wiggins also said that his objectives have shifted from targeting high overall placings in Grand Tours to an attempt on the mythical Hour Record.

"It's true, I'm thinking about it (the Hour Record)," he said. Time-trialing has long been a strength of the multiple-times Olympic pursuit champion.

"My time as a Grand Tour rider is over. I'll still ride them but not to win them. I'll sign up now for this event next year. If Sky doesn't take me to the Tour, I'll be back," he added, revealing a sanguine attitude to the remainder of his career that has remained hidden up until now.

In the short-term, Wiggins will focus on competing for England at the Commonwealth Games in July. His late-season target is the Vuelta, which the injured Froome is also hoping to ride - potentially setting up the latest chapter in what has often been a bitter rivalry between Team Sky’s two best riders.

What is the Hour Record?

It’s one of cycling’s most mythical records, and also perhaps its simplest as a concept. As the name implies, the Hour Record is a measure of how far a cyclist can travel within a time limit of sixty minutes.

The theory may be easy to understand- go hell for leather for 3600 tortuous seconds- but the history of the Hour is anything but.

There are in fact two separate Hour Records. There’s the one set by cycling’s governing body, the UCI which must be carried out on a conventional road bike, and then there’s the Best Human Effort, confusingly titled because with this one, pretty much anything goes as far as technological innovations are concerned.

Eddy Merckx set a record of 49.431km in Mexico City on 25 October 1972 that would stand for twelve years, until Francesco Moser broke it with a distance of 51.151km.

Moser chose the same location of Mexico City as Merckx- the Hour is often attempted at altitude, because the thinner air provides more aerodynamic assistance.

The problem was that the Italian’s record was set using new-fangled disc wheels. In 1996 the UCI put all the records since Merckx’s 1972 attempt into the ‘Best Human Effort’ category.

That meant that the records set during the 1990s by the two Brits, Grame Obree and Chris Boardman were downgraded- because both had pushed the limits of bike design in achieving their distances.

In 2000, however, Boardman broke Merckx’s distance on a regular road bike by just 10m- an almost unbelievably small margin after an hour’s riding.

Just to add to the confusion, in May of this year the UCI announced plans to unify the two categories, ensuring that Boardman and Obree’s distances would be returned to the record books. But the record will remain the 49.700km set by the Czech Ondrej Sosenka in 2005- despite that being far behind Boardman’s best of 56.375km set in Manchester in 1996.

Cycling’s purest achievement is, ironically perhaps its hardest to properly understand. But if Wiggins does indeed attempt it, then he will need to break 48.700km to capture the record. That part at least is simple enough.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links