It has been a busy time for Britain's leading cycling exponents over the past week. Sir Bradley Wiggins gave his fervent fans a photo opportunity as he enters the latter stages of his road-racing career, some way down the field in the Tour de Yorkshire. Sprint king Mark Cavendish took the green jersey at the Tour of Turkey. Alex Dowsett provided an even bigger carrot for Wiggins, after moving the men's hour record into unknown territory at the weekend.
Dowsett's hour record
Last year's #Commonwealth Games time-trial winner Dowsett perhaps deserves special mention. With much of the hype being centred around Wiggins' attempt at the hour record in four weeks' time, he may have sneaked under the media radar somewhat. Yet his breaking of the record on Saturday was testament to his perseverance and sheer will to succeed. He had to postpone an attempt earlier in the year following a training incident where he broke his collarbone.
26-year-old Dowsett's new world best figures of 52.937km at the Manchester Velodrome should prove to be a stern test for Wiggins. Many in the sport believe that he could have ridden even further in the hour period, but he seemed happy just to exceed the February mark of 52.491km set by Australian Rohan Dennis. The challenge seems to be on many people's minds at present. It was the 4th time in just eight months that the record has been beaten, suggesting that Wiggins may still have some leeway to take it on further at the Lee Valley Velodrome on 7th June.
Wiggins happy for Dowsett
Wiggins seemed happy for his fellow Brit, stating that it was "brilliant for Alex" and ensures that his own attempt retains its interest in the public eye. There is nothing like Brits chasing and exchanging records in sport. Remember the focus on athletics when Steve Ovett and Seb Coe were chasing times around Europe in the 1980s. It did them no harm and should keep cycling popular and of interest to dedicated fans and occasional followers alike.
Wiggins off the pace in Tour de Yorkshire
Sir Brad continued his own preparations by riding in the inaugural three-day Tour de Yorkshire. Sadly for British fans he failed to figure prominently at the front, as Team Sky's Lars Petter Nordhaug took the overall victory in Leeds on Sunday. The event again proved hugely popular with the Yorkshire public after the stages in the Tour de France there last year. They turned out in their masses to line the route throughout the three days of competition.
Cavendish takes green jersey