Three-medal haul for Wiggins is Britain's best for 40 years

Bradley Wiggins became Britain's most successful Olympian at a single Games for 40 years yesterday after a remarkable comeback on the cycling track. Wiggins added a bronze medal in the madison event, a perilous race over 50 kilometres of the indoor track, to the silver and gold he has won in the past week.

By achieving third place with his partner, Rob Hayles, Wiggins has matched the individual medal haul achieved at the Tokyo Games in 1964 by Mary Rand. She won bronze in the 4x100m, silver in the pentathlon and gold in the long jump.

The pair's achievements also crown a fine Olympics for British cycling, which included a gold medal for Chris Hoy last Friday.

The pair led in the early stages but soon lost the lead to the eventual winners, Australia. They appeared to have fallen out of contention altogether when Hayles, whose crash in the same event in Sydney cost a medal place, was unseated after colliding with another rider with less than half the race to go.

Hayles switched his damaged bike shortly afterwards and the pair, who had been a lap behind the leaders, rallied in the closing stages to roars from several hundred British fans and finished third with 12 points, trailing the Swiss (15) and the winners Australia (25).

Cath Cockran, Wiggins's fiancée, who was in the crowd, said: "We always knew, even when he won the first world title as a junior, that Bradley would be something special but I didn't think he would be quite that special. When Rob fell off I thought, 'Oh no. Not again.' It was like a repeat of Sydney. All credit to him for getting back."

Born in Belgium, Wiggins was brought up by his mother in Maida Vale, north London. Aged 19, he moved to France where he signed his first cycling contract and where he will return on Sunday for his next race with his team, Crédit Agricole.

He claimed his first gold last Saturday when he won the men's individual pursuit, having broken the Olympic record to reach the final the previous day. Two days later, riding in the men's team pursuit with Hayles, Paul Manning and Steve Cummings, Wiggins won a silver after being beaten by the Australian team. In his only previous Games, in Sydney, Wiggins won a bronze in the team pursuit and last year he claimed his first major title ­ the individual pursuit at the World Championships in Stuttgart.

He lives with Ms Cockran, a cyclist turned radiographer, in Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire where he also trains. Mrs Wiggins, who watched her son over the weekend, had to fly back to the UK due to a lack of accommodation.

Even if Wiggins had achieved gold yesterday, he would not have matched the best individual medal haul for a British Olympian. In the 1908 Games in London, the swimmer Henry Taylor achieved three Olympic golds in the 400m freestyle, 1,500m freestyle and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

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