Sign up for our newsletter


Miguel Indurain: ‘My Hour Record and Wiggins's are on the same level’

Peter Stuart
1 May 2017

We talk briefly to Big Mig about his Hour Record, disc brakes and the future of pro bike racing

‘When I did the Hour Record, I reached 53.04km,’ says Miguel Indurain, five-time winner of the Tour de France as he stands astride his iconic Pinarello Grand Tour time trial bike.

‘Materials and technology have changed, so I think my record and Wiggins’ 54km are on the same level.’

We were speaking to Indurain at the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre in Manacor, Mallorca, ahead of the Mallorca 312 sportive.

He speaks keenly about safety in the mountains, suggesting disc brakes may help amateurs who are participating.

They have no place in pro racing, though, he insists.

‘These brakes are not good for racing. When people fall it is not safe,’ he explains, signalling a cutting motion across his calf.

‘Professionals don’t have to brake much, into corners or on descents. When they do, there wouldn’t be much difference in how quickly disc brakes could slow them down.

'For amateurs and cycle-tourists disc brakes are a great idea as they may be less skilled meaning the disc brakes can make more of a difference.’

With such traditional inclinations, we wonder if Indurain would approve of the recent moves to reform and modernise racing - such as the likes of the Velon Hammer Series.

‘I hope we will have an increase in interesting competitions and a little more variety within cycling,’ Indurain says, admitting he hasn’t heard of the series.

‘If you want to sell the sport, you need to consider shorter races. For people outside the sport it’s more engaging, but we shouldn’t lose the focus of traditional cycling - which is after all an endurance sport.’

Indurain was readying to ride the sportive the following day, and was acting as a ride guide and mentor for those participating in the Rafa Nadal Sport Challenge: a three day event taking around the Mallorca 312 and hosted by the Rafa Nadal Sport Centre.

[This interview was conducted in translation]