Wiggins comes up short in rowing debut

Bradley Wiggins during his heat at the British Indoor Rowing Championship Open Men 2km. (AAP)

Retired cycling champion Bradley Wiggins was back in a velodrome but there was no glory this time at the British indoor rowing championships.

Retired former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins was back in a velodrome but not on two wheels as his competitive rowing debut ended in disappointment.

Wiggins, the five-times Olympic cycling champion who is considering a switch to rowing with an eye on Tokyo 2020, finished 21st in his event at the British indoor rowing championships.

Seated on an ergometer the bearded 37-year-old took on some of Britain's best rowers in the elite 2km race at the London Velodrome but trailed home in 6 mins 22.5 secs.

Adam Neill, part of Britain's rowing team, won in 5:48.2 seconds.

Wiggins, who in 2012 became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, had his rhythm broken early on when he thought he had false-started and shook his head in disappointment as he walked off.

"Upon hearing a call in the background, I thought the race had false started," Wiggins tweeted.

"Fantastic experience racing with everyone, I will come back 12 months stronger next year."

Two-times Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell, who is mentoring Wiggins in his new venture, said he expected his charge to continue in his quest despite failing to get close to the 6 min 5 secs target he had set himself.

"The first thing I will say is don't stop," Cracknell told reporters.

"Bradley knows how to race. His rhythm looked very good.

"He will have to look at what point he was red-lining.

"He has set himself a target and like anyone who sets a target you either come back stronger or go away and I think I know what camp he is in.

He will come back."

No Olympic cyclist has ever made the transition to rowing at the highest level.

"I think it's really interesting and he's obviously an unbelievable sportsman," Neill said.

"Some people might say it's impossible but it's Bradley Wiggins so what is impossible for that guy: he won the Tour de France."

Source AAP

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