Sir Bradley Wiggins' wait to challenge the world hour record is almost at an end. On Sunday at the Lee Valley velodrome he will attempt to relieve his countryman Alex Dowsett of the honour of riding the furthest distance on a bike in 60 minutes. #Cycling is extremely popular at present and Wiggins is just one of the star names attracting interest to the sport. Yet more two-wheel fireworks seem likely from a star-studded field at the British National Road Championships later this month.
Wiggins' record is the envy of his peers: a former Tour de France winner, world road time trial champion, 4-time Olympic champion and 6-time world track champion. The list goes on and so does he, at least for a year or two more, with Rio 2016 likely to be his swansong.
Before that he will try to beat Dowsett's record set only last month of 52.937km in the hour. In typically bullish mood, Wiggins is looking for even more. He has targeted at least 55km, a mind-blowing 220 laps of the velodrome. If conditions are favourable, he may look to beat Chris Boardman's distance from 1996 of 56.4km. That performance has been ruled out for 'record' purposes because the now illegal "superman" position was used.
With 6,000 fans willing him on inside the arena and a worldwide television audience into the millions, he will not be short of support. Even if he beats the old record, Wiggins is adamant that he hopes others will continue to challenge the record in future.
National championships attract the stars
Wiggins is not the only star attraction in British cycling at present though. Many of the other well-known names in the sport will descend on the British National Road Championships in Lincolnshire at the end of June. Riders familiar to those who have enjoyed watching the action at London 2012, last year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Tour de France down the years, will be able to see their heroes and heroines in action.
Men's road race
The road race title should be defended by Peter Kennaugh, the 25-year-old rider from the Isle of Man. Kennaugh became the first competitor from the island in 100 years to strike gold at an Olympics, as part of the Team GB team pursuit success in 2012.
He can expect stiff competition though, with the likes of fellow team pursuit (double) Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas also in the field. Thomas had a hugely successful Commonwealth Games last year, winning the road race gold for Wales and also claiming a bronze medal in the time trial.
Others expected to feature in a highly competitive field are Simon Yates, an impressive fifth place finisher in this year's Tour of the Basque Country, and the indomitable Mark Cavendish. Besides taking the title in 2013, Cavendish can also lay claim to no less than 25 Tour de France stage wins during his illustrious road racing career. He is also a former world road race champion. They will also have to be wary of Scott Thwaites, who took the bronze medal behind Thomas in the Commonwealth Games.
Other races of interest
Dowsett will also be in action, as he looks to emulate his Commonwealth gold medal performance, when riding in the men's time trial event.
The pick of the women's events looks to be the road race. Both the two-time Olympic gold medallist and defending national champion, Laura Trott and Commonwealth winner Lizzie Armitstead should be competing. Dani King and Dame Sarah Storey should also feature prominently.