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Sir Bradley Wiggins: Why the man who loves cycling knows his next challenge will be horrible

When Sir Bradley Wiggins describes his next challenge as a "horrible experience" you tend to sit up and take notice.

Credit: ITV News

This is a man after all who has won multiple Olympic gold medals on track and road and ?conquered the Tour de France.

On Sunday night in Stratford he'll try and break what's known as the Hour Record - racing laps of the velodrome for 60 minutes to try and beat the current best distance of 52.94km set by Alex Dowsett.

Credit: ITV News

I meet Wiggins after a midweek training session at a deserted Lee Valley VeloPark. "These are the moments I relish the most and look forward to", he told me.

But it won't be quiet on Sunday. The 6,000 tickets sold out in seven minutes. So how can the spectators help him out?

The crowd can bring you home really. The first 30 minutes are the early stages, people are getting used to you riding around. The closer you get to the finish you start to get an average speed on the board. That momentum builds to the final ten minutes when you're on the edge physically and the crowd are just egging you on.

– Sir Bradley Wiggins
Credit: ITV News

It's an incredible physical challenge but clearly mentally draining too. Wiggins breaks down the hour into five 12 minute chunks.

You do try and break it down and work through each block - excluding the last one which will be horrific. I get a reference point every 16 seconds. And you live for that reference point!

– Sir Bradley Wiggins
Credit: PA

Yet he remains remarkably pragmatic about what his body is about to go through.

It is only an hour. I always like the feeling of thinking - ten minutes from now just imagine how you're going to feel. However hard something is, there's always an end.

– Sir Bradley Wiggins
Credit: PA

But if he gets beyond the magical 53km on Sunday (and he's aiming for 55km) - I'm not sure Wiggins, or the thousands packed into the velodrome, will actually want the end to come.