Wiggins is competing in his fifth Olympic Games and is currently tied with the retired Hoy on seven medals. However, with six golds compared to the 2012 Tour de France winner’s four, the Scot’s status as Britain’s most successful Olympian will remain intact even if Wiggins helps win the team pursuit title in Brazil.
Hoy still regards Sir Steve Redgrave, who won golds at five successive games, as the greatest – but in terms of metallic quantity it will be the 36-year-old who will have the biggest medal collection if he makes the podium.
“I would be delighted for Bradley if he was to go past my record but even if he didn’t it wouldn’t affect his place as one of the greatest cyclists the country has produced,” said Hoy in an interview ahead of the Rio Games, where he will be working as a pundit for the BBC. “He’s going to bring so much to the team in Rio, just having his presence there is bound to lift everyone.”