Bradley Wiggins Wins Silver Medal in Commonwealth Games 4,000M Team Pursuit

Stuart NewmanFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2014

England's Bradley Wiggins leads his cycle teammates during a training session in the Velodrome ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday July 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Sir Bradley Wiggins helped England to a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Thursday, teaming up with Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant as runners-up to Australia in the men’s 4,000-metre team pursuit cycling.     

The reigning world champions, Australia, simply blew Wiggins and Co. aside at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, setting a new Commonwealth record on their way to the gold medal, as Martyn McLaughlin of The Scotsman revealed:

Wiggins now has a fourth Commonwealth silver medal to add to his trophy cabinet, per BBC Sport’s Ben Smith, but claiming his first gold never really looked like it would happen against the powerful Australians.

It was a clean start for England, though, with Clancy leading the charge, but Australia established a healthy lead in the very first lap and never really looked like surrendering it as the race progressed.

However, the Aussies did look under pressure when they lost the services of Luke Davison just over halfway through the race, but all his absence seemed to do was kick Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson and Glenn O’Shea into life.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 24:  Jack Bobridge, Luke Davidson, Alex Edmondson and Glenn P O'Shea of Australia warm up for the Men's 4000m Team Pursuit Qualifying at Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during day one of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 24, 201
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

They seemed to find the necessary extra gear with three men left on the track, and managed to open up an even-healthier lead while being a man lighter.

It was always going to take something special to defeat the Australian team, and six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy told BBC Sport that the English can take a lot of positives from winning silver against such a talented nation:

When Australia were down to three men we thought England might be back in with a chance but that's an incredible performance from Australia. It's sent a message out certainly. England will be disappointed. It's not all about Bradley Wiggins, it's a team effort. It's a silver medal but still a medal nonetheless.

For Wiggins, the chance to win a first Commonwealth gold medal goes begging once again. Sky Sports’ Orla Chennaoui reported that the 34-year-old looked visibly distraught after claiming yet another silver medal:

Though the 2012 Tour de France champion headed into the Australia ranks to congratulate the victors, his facial expression told the story rather than the handshakes—looking in pain at the reality of defeat.

Scott Heppell/Associated Press

A medal is a medal, though, and for the England team in Scotland, it’s another to add to their already impressive tally.

Whether Wiggins has the chance to add a Commonwealth gold to his personal tally remains to be seen, but for now, the Englishman's focus will be on tuning up for next year's Olympic Games—where we know he has the ability to reach the top of the podium.