Wiggins: ‘Just to be in the same race as GB rowers and to see how close I can get to them is an honour’

Bradley Wiggins will line up alongside GB Rowing Team athletes and other members of the public in the open 2,000m at the British Rowing Indoor Championships

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GB Rowing Team at BRIC16 - Naomi Baker

Sir Bradley Wiggins is relishing the chance to test himself against GB Rowing Team athletes at next month’s British Rowing Indoor Championships, presented by Visit Sarasota County, but admits he’s not expecting to mount a challenge for a place on the podium.

Athletes from British Rowing’s senior and U23 programmes will compete over 2,000m at the event, held at the Lee Valley VeloPark on 9 December, alongside members of the public, including the likes of Wiggins.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist has taken up rowing since bringing his cycling career to an end in 2016, with BRIC17 set to be his first foray into competition. Wiggins has been training on the indoor rowing machine with Eddie Fletcher of Fletcher Sport Science.’

“I don’t expect to beat any of [the GB rowers],” Wiggins said in an interview on LBC. “They’re incredible athletes and amazing as what they do, so just to be in the same race as them and seeing how close I can get to them is an honour. And that’s the beauty of this event – anyone can enter it and pitch themselves against the British best.”

The GB line-up includes BRIC16 champion Adam Neill and bronze medallists from the 2017 World Rowing Championships Tom Barras and Matt Rossiter.

Wiggins has been training with another decorated Olympian in three-time Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, who says the former cyclist’s ability to push through the pain barrier will hold him in good stead on the rowing machine.

“The thing that’s similar to [riding on] the track is that the feedback is instantaneous and it’s you against the machine. The machine will always win, but it’s how much you’re prepared to put your hand in the flame and keep it there,” he said in the same LBC interview.

“Anyone who has seen Brad in the Tour [de France], on the track or doing the Hour Record, they’ll know he’s prepared to put himself through a physical ordeal that not many people are, and that’s effectively what the rowing machine does.”

Sign up now to race at the British Rowing Indoor Championships at the Lee Valley VeloPark on 9 December by clicking here. You can also buy tickets to be a spectator in the velodrome for just £6 for adults; children under 16 years old are free.

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