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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power