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Cyclist Wiggins could make Olympic eight: Hunter
November 29, 2017
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LONDON: Former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins could fulfil his aim of becoming an Olympic rower after swapping a bike for a boat, according to Beijing gold medallist Mark Hunter.

Wiggins, Britain’s first Tour de France winner in 2012 who also won five Olympic cycling golds, has taken up rowing after announcing his retirement last year.

The 37-year-old is in training for the British Indoor Rowing Championships on Dec. 9 at the London Olympic velodrome where he will test himself against the country’s best oarsmen.

With double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell coaching him, Hunter would not be surprised if Wiggins makes the transition from rowing machine to the water.

“I think it’s great for the sport because he is a phenomenal athlete and it’s exciting to see what he can do,” Hunter said. “The rowing machine is just like a watt bike and he has a big engine and he is super fit so I think he will get some good results and go below six minutes for 2,000 metres.”

”On the water? That’s a different challenge being able to take that strength and power and the engine he has and put that on a boat. It’s a different skill set. ”There are moving parts as a rower. You have to work with other people and train day in and day out in a system. That’s maybe a culture that he hasn’t been in.

“I’ve seen others try and fail. But hats off to Bradley. He wouldn’t be doing this unless he believed he could do it.” Hunter believes the eight-man boat offers Wiggins the best chance of a shot at the 2020 Olympics.

“I think he would be more suited in the sweep side of the sport, the rowing side not the sculling,” said Hunter.

”Sweep is a lot easier to learn than sculling which is more technical. And the eight is a big boat that can be balanced for you and there are people who can help you.”

Reuters

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