MX23RW : Thursday, October 18 23:59:43

Sir Bradley Wiggins rules out 2020 Olympic rowing bid

Wiggins is already a five-time Olympic gold medallist in cycling

Five-time Olympic champion cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has abandoned plans to bid to make the Great Britain rowing team at the 2020 Olympics.

The 2012 Tour de France winner retired from cycling in December 2016 and flirted with the idea of rowing competitively, taking part in last December's British Rowing Indoor Championships at the Lee Valley Velodrome.

The 38-year-old told his eponymous Eurosport show: "I'm still training most days with it, but I've decided I'm not going to the Olympics because I've got too much other stuff to do.

"I need to give myself a break. I haven't got time to train three times a day. To the level I want to do it to, it's a full-time job in itself. There's too much going on."

Wiggins previously floated the possibility of going to a sixth Olympics in Tokyo – when he will be 40 – as a rower, although his lack of experience and the time frame meant that was always a challenging prospect, even for an athlete of his undoubted abilities.

He won a fifth Olympic gold in the men's team pursuit at Rio 2016 after returning to the track from the road.

His indoor debut – on a rowing machine like those found in most gyms and very different to a boat – ended in disappointment after he thought erroneously he had false started and his rhythm was disrupted.

Sir Bradley Wiggins, left, and Mark Cavendish won the 2016 Madison world title at the Lee Valley Velodrome
Sir Bradley Wiggins, left, and Mark Cavendish won the 2016 Madison world title at the Lee Valley Velodrome (Tim Goode/PA Images)

Wiggins was competing at the velodrome where he won the 2016 Madison world title with Mark Cavendish and just a month after UK Anti-Doping ended an investigation in which he was a prominent figure.

Wiggins railed at a "malicious witch-hunt" after UKAD ended a 14-month investigation into the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to him and Team Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race. Team Sky and Wiggins always denied wrongdoing.

But the episode – plus seeking and receiving permission to use a powerful corticosteroid before three major races, including his Tour triumph – heightened scrutiny on him.

Wiggins has more recently expanded to do more media work, with shows on Eurosport and talkSPORT.

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Team GB's Helen Glover and Heather Stanning pose with their gold medals at the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016
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