December 9, 2017
Wiggins Bombs Out At Rowing Debut
Tour de France winner and Britain’s most decorated Olympian Bradley Wiggins made his rowing debut today at the British Rowing Indoor Championships, having announced earlier this year plans to possibly pursue a place in the British rowing team.
The cyclist, now a national celebrity in Britain, drew much speculation over his chances of successfully making the switch to rowing.
It is not unknown for rowers to convert to cycling. Hamish Bond this year competed at the UCI World time trial championships a year after winning rowing gold in Rio. However it is not a transition that has before been made in the opposite direction.
Wiggins has spent the last six months training under the guidance of double Olympic gold medal winning rower James Cracknell. Cracknell has said Wiggins has a chance at making the British squad and predicted he could do close to six minutes today.
But with Bradley looking nervous as he walked onto the floor to loud cheers from the crowd, it proved not to be the performance he had hoped.
Around 200 metres in to the race, Wiggins mis-heard a call to others on the floor to stop rowing due to a false start. Backing off for a stoke before realising the mistake, it seemed to entirely throw Wiggins, who then faded throughout the rest of the piece.
Without sprinting to the line, he finished in a time of 6.22.5 in 21st place and over 30 seconds behind winner Adam Neil, who managed 5:48.2. Clearly disappointed by the performance, Wiggins shook his head in frustration as he quickly left the arena.
Whether we will get another chance to see what he is truly capable of remains to be seen. Wiggins may well choose to cut his losses and end the rowing project here. For now though, he certainly won’t be threatening anyone’s place on the British rowing team.
Photos ©Benedict Tufnell