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Britain's Best Cyclist Was Like 'Whatever' After Beating Australia

Sir Bradley Wiggins is one cool cat.

13/08/2016 10:03 AM AEST | Updated August 13, 2016 10:56
Getty Images
Yeah, I got 5. So what?

A fifth Olympic gold medal, a new world record, and the adoration of a huge contingent of Brits was still not quite enough to get Bradley Wiggins -- sorry, Sir Bradley Wiggins -- particularly excited about beating the old enemy Australia in the final of the the men's team pursuit at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Wiggins, 36, is a dual Tour de France winner and a long-time tormentor of Australia in Olympic track cycling. He was up to his usual tricks in Rio on Friday night local time, helping beat Australia in the final of the men's team pursuit.

Did his defence of Team Great Britain's London crown in this event make him ecstatic or overjoyed? It did not. Just quietly satisfied. Yeah, that's about the extent of it.

Paul Hanna / Reuters
That's his wife Catherine.

This was a really exciting race. Australia had almost blown their chances on day one of qualification for this event, but rallied on day two to qualify for the final. They looked gone in the semi against the Danes, but chased them down.

On to the Brits, who -- as mentioned -- they'd lost to in London, but had beaten at the most recent world championships. Could we repeat the dose?

We could not. But for a while, it seemed we could. The team pursuit is the race where teams of four cyclists start on opposite sides of the track. It's 4,000 metres of pain, which translates as 16 laps.

Eric Gaillard / Reuters
That's Wiggins on the right. Everyone else is 'Yeah!' He's more like 'uh-huh'.

Australia's team of Alex Edmondson, Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn and Sam Welsford led early and kept extending the margin.

Our maximum lead was exactly 0.666 of a second. That's a pretty big margin. But it proved to be the devil's number. The Brits started eating into the margin and when they hit the front. the hugely pro-British crowd went nuts. They kept increasing it after that and cleared out to win by 0.743.

"To come away with a new Aussie record is quite special," Aussie rider Alex Edmondson said after the race.

"It's not quite what we wanted to do. Of course we wanted to come away with a gold medal, but we gave it everything we had. We just got beaten by a team that was on a better day than us, so credit to those guys.

Paul Hanna / Reuters
Pure precision from the Brits.

"Yesterday didn't quite go to plan for us, so it took a bit to pull our heads in. We were happy with the semi-final and didn't have anything to lose in the final. We knew the Brits were in flying form, and we tried to give it everything we've got,"

"We went back to the old way of Aussie spirit, just go out full gas and hold on, we left everything out there and you can't do much more than that."

And Wiggins? He just kind of stood around and held his five fingers aloft when cameramen asked, to symbolise his five Olympic golds. And then he just kind of stood there with this flat -- almost bored -- look on his face.

Been there, done that.

Getty Images
Oh, I won, did I? Whatever.

In the earlier bronze medal ride-off in the women's team sprint, Australia's pair of Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton missed a medal, beaten by Germany. Australia's Rio opening ceremony flagbearer Meares has plenty more races on her program.

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