Sir Bradley Wiggins hopes to reach sixth olympics - by boat

Credit: PA

Sir Bradley Wiggins was on Saturday set to begin a possible bid for a sixth Olympics after swapping his bike for a boat.

The 37-year-old five-time Olympic cycling champion entered the elite men's two-kilometres event at the British Rowing Indoor Championships at a familiar venue, the LeeValley Velodrome.

The 2km effort on an indoor, static rowing machine, such as the ones found in most sport centres and gyms, should take under six minutes.

It is a far cry from competing on the water in a boat, but should provide a measure of Wiggins' potential. He has previously suggested the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, when he will be 40, is in his sights.

The British record is held by Olympic champion Moe Sbihi, who in December 2015 clocked five minutes 41.8 seconds to beat four-time Olympic champion Sir Matthew Pinsent's long-standing best.

Wiggins equalled Pinsent's haul of golds at London 2012 when he won the road time-trial at Hampton Court, becoming the first man to win the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year.

And in 2016 Wiggins drew level with another rower, Sir Steve Redgrave, on five gold medals.

The team pursuit win at the Rio Games saw Wiggins become the Briton with the most Olympic medals, with eight.

Wiggins and Team Sky have been under the microscope over a UKAD investigation. Credit: PA

But since Wiggins has been shrouded in scrutiny, firstly over seeking and receiving permission to use a powerful corticosteroid before three major races, including his Tour triumph.

He was part of a UK Anti-Doping investigation which closed after 14 months last month after a lack of sufficient evidence.

Wiggins railed at a "malicious witch-hunt" after UKAD ended the investigation into the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to him and Team Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race without bringing any charges. Team Sky and Wiggins, who retired from cycling in December 2016, deny wrongdoing.