Cycling: Wiggins eyes 'big challenge' as he bids to claim historic double in 2012

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The Independent Online

Bradley Wiggins insists he can achieve the daunting dual goal of becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France and the first cyclist to follow a yellow jersey with an Olympic gold medal.

Wiggins will discover in the next few weeks which event British Cycling want him to compete in at next year's London Games – it is likely to be the team pursuit – but it is the combination of Tour and Olympics that is the motivation for the 31-year-old. "I don't see it as compromising one for the other," said Wiggins, although he does admit that without the prospect of the Tour a fourth Olympic Games would not demand his attention.

"If I wasn't going back to the Tour next year and I was just going back to do the team pursuit... it wouldn't excite me at all. I would really not be looking forward to it. It wouldn't be enough for me every morning to get out of bed and train just to go back to win that.

"It would have to be both. I see it [Tour and Olympics] as one big challenge. I've done the Olympics, this will be my fourth, I've been there and got the golds. They haven't changed my life but winning the Tour would change my life. Winning gold on the back of winning the Tour would certainly change my life and put me into a different bracket as an athlete. The age I'm at now, the stage of my career it's more achievable than ever."

Wiggins, speaking at the opening of the Team GB and Paralympics GB shop in Westfield, next door to the Olympic Park, is likely to race in only the team pursuit in London, one of the two events in which he took gold in Beijing. His silver in last week's world championship time trial saw him finish a minute behind the German Tony Martins. "It's a case of going for the one I've got the most chance of winning and not compromising that by trying to do everything," he said.

The Tour finishes in Paris on 22 July with the team pursuit following on 2 August. Wiggins could have sat out next year's Tour to concentrate on the Games but believes the short recovery time is not an issue. "Doing the Tour of Spain off the back of a broken collarbone [in this year's Tour de France], and then eight days later doing the time trial of my life at the world championships proves that you can do it," he said.

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