Sir Bradley Wiggins may have opted to race in only one of a possible four events for Team England but he insisted yesterday the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games is a big deal.
He has also had a tongue-in-cheek dig at the appearance of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, saying it does not do Britain's most decorated Olympian justice.
Loading article content
Wiggins has ascended to the A-list since he last graced the Commonwealths in 2002, winning four Olympic gold medals and the 2012 Tour de France.
But the decision by Team Sky to stand him down from this year's Tour, plus a desire to return to the track at the Rio 2016 Olympics, means Wiggins has been focused on the velodrome of late.
"The plan was to come in and do pretty much most of the events, (but) with hindsight, I thought just focus on the Olympic event rather than try to be too greedy," he said. "The initial thing, having been away (from the track) for so long, was whether I could still do it straight away. The initial signs were really good and since then I've just been focusing on the team pursuit. All the training's been geared up to the team pursuit and trying to break back into that. It's the only Olympic event really that's available to me now, because the individual pursuit has gone."
He added: "The Commonwealth Games is a fantastic event in its own right. Some people put the Commonwealth Games down but you're still representing your country. It's very rare you get to put on an England tracksuit unless you are an England footballer or a cricket player. It's almost become a bit politically correct, you're not really allowed to support England so it's kind of nice that we can fly that flag and get up and compete for England."
Of his first impressions of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Wiggins added: "I'd be a bit p***** off if I were him as they've stuck a great big 'Emirates' sign over his name. It doesn't stand out that it's the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, other than a little thing as you walk in.
"I think there should be more made for him - stick a whopping great statue outside because it doesn't hit you straight away that it's his velodrome. I think he got done over a bit. But he won't complain because he's far too nice. So I'll complain for him. They should do something about it."