By Yann Tear
Fred Wright capped a memorable summer in the saddle by claiming silver in today’s time trial in Wolverhampton.
The Herne Hill cyclist is no longer a surprise package, having made his mark during several stages at the recently-ended Tour de France – he even finished runner-up in one of them.
And his excellence as a time triallist was obvious in the penultimate stage of the Grand Boucle when he finished eighth in the final 40km trial.
On that occasion, former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas finished fourth and was a favourite to push for gold in these Games. But an early crash into barriers on a narrow course left him with too much to do.
Wright was the leader in the club house after posting 46:47.52 over the 37.4km course, having got progressively quicker after being only sixth following the first time check.
But he was eventually beaten by Aussie Rohan Dennis, the two-time world champion time triallist and favourite, who slowed up towards the end, but still finished 26 seconds ahead of Wright.
Thomas did well to recover from his early setback to take the bronze.
“He just paced it beautifully,” said BBC commentator Chris Boardman of Wright’s run.
Wright said: “It’s so special. I came into it thinking if I’d recovered enough from the Tour de France I could do something here, and I could tell from the first couple of climbs that I could.
“I didn’t quite think I would be that close to G [Thomas] and Rohan, so I’m really happy with that.
“Sometimes I don’t quite realise where I am until I’m there – over time that’s going to come. The confidence is sky-high now.”
Wright now has the weekend road race to look forward to and he will no doubt tackle that with confidence and may even be the team leader in Sunday’s blue riband event.
Pictured top: Fred Wright – on his way to silver medal at West Park, Wolverhampton (Picture: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images)