Athens 2004: O’Grady and Wiggins go head to head

An inspired Stuart O'Grady has opted to return to Athens from France so that he can race in Wednesda

An inspired Stuart O’Grady has opted to return to Athens from France so that he can race in Wednesda

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Olympic pursuit gold medallist Bradley Wiggins, of Team GB, will race against Tour de France stage winner and HEW Cyclassics winner, Stuart O’Grady, of Australia, in Wednesday afternoon’s gruelling Madison race on the Athens track. O’Grady rode in the Olympic road race and afterwards flew home to Toulouse, but buoyed by the results his compatriots have been achieving, the Australian opted to return to Athens to race on the track. “He’ll be a great partner,” said his Madison team-mate, Graeme Brown. O’Grady’s last major track meeting was at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, when he finished tenth in the Madison event. Wiggins, determined to add to his existing medal tally of one gold and one silver, is said to still be coming to terms with his Olympic success. “He’s been staying up late because he’s unable to sleep at the moment,” said Team GB track coach, Simon Jones. “It’s an odd feeling for him because he’s fulfilled his childhood dream. He keeps saying, ‘this happens to other people, not me.’ So we’ve got a big job here because we really want to get a medal in the Madison. This will be all about psychology.” Throughout these Olympics, Wiggins has appeared so laid-back that it is hard to imagine him feeling any pressure. “It’s all over in terms of the pressure events because the Madison is just going to be a bit of fun for us,” he said of his partnership with Rob Hayles. “Already it’s been a fantastic success for me, and if we can go out there and get another medal it will be a bonus, but it’s such a lottery of a race.”