Waddon vows to do a Wiggins and get GB off to a flying start

 

Bradley Wiggins launched Britain's summer of sporting success with his historic win in the Tour de France and his influence is still being felt. With the action due to start tomorrow in the Velodrome, the latest to cite the Wiggins effect is Rik Waddon, one of British cycling's golden hopes in the Paralympics.

The 35-year-old Waddon lives in Chorley, Lancashire, near Wiggins, who became the first British winner of the Tour in July before claiming Olympic time-trial gold at Hampton Court. Waddon's Mohican may not catch on like Wiggins' sideburns, but he hopes to emulate, at least in part, his neighbour's success.

"Bradley's one of my heroes, like Chris Boardman was in the 90s," said Waddon. "For him to come away with a Tour de France win and then go straight into the Olympics and get the gold, it's like 'Wow, I'll have a bit of that'. He lives in the next village to me. He's got the gold postbox in Chorley. I see that and just think I've got to go for it."

Wiggins's was the first of eight Olympic golds for Britain's cyclists in London, equalling their Beijing mark. Britain's Paralympic team won 17 cycling gold medals out of 44 events in 2008 and the squad of 19 riders is expected to challenge that tally in London.

"There's nothing to say that we can't do the same," said Waddon, whose wife Natalie is in Britain's Paralympic swimming team. "We've carried out the same processes as the Olympic guys over the last four years, but obviously you can't control what any other nation does."

Waddon, who has cerebral palsy, is set to compete in tomorrow's C1-C3 one-kilometre time trial, which is a factored competition due to a mixture of levels of impairment. Waddon, who won silver behind team-mate Darren Kenny in the event in Beijing, is a C3 rider, so must beat the calculators as well as his rivals to prevail. C1 riders have a greater degree of impairment so their times are factored the most. He said: "There's a lot of work to do there against a factoring system. I could end up winning, I could end up coming ninth."

On Sunday, the final day of track competition, Waddon will also ride in the team sprint with Kenny and Jon-Allan Butterworth, when Britain will be seeking to defend their Paralympic crown having lost the world championship title to China in Los Angeles earlier this year.

Waddon said: "The main event is the team sprint on Sunday. That's what I've been employed to do, that's what we've been working at all year since the guys were overturned by the Chinese in LA at the track worlds in February. We dominated that event for seven years – we want it back in London."

Like the Olympic cycling team, Britain's Paralympians completed final preparations at the Newport Velodrome and the omens are good. Chris Furber, lead coach of British Cycling's para-cycling team, said: "We've had a strong camp. I always mark in my book with a green highlighter if there's a PB [personal best] and there was a lot of green highlighter in there. Hopefully they will all come up well for competition."

Facts in figures

20 Number of sports contested in 11 days of competition.

503 Number of gold medals to be won during the Paralympics.

166 Participating countries. 204 nations took part in the Olympics.

300 Number of athletes competing for Team GB in the Paralympics.

4,200 Athletes set to compete. 10,820 competed during the Olympics.

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness