Bradley Wiggins announced his retirement from professional cycling on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on a career that saw him become one of Britain’s greatest sportsmen. The 36-year-old became Britain’s first Tour de France winner in 2012 and bows out with eight Olympic medals, including five golds, and seven world titles, across track and road cycling, to his name.
“I have been lucky enough to live a dream and fulfil my childhood aspiration of making a living and a career out of the sport I fell in love with at the age of 12,” Wiggins said in a statement on the Facebook page of his Wiggins team. “I’ve met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years. I have worked with the world’s best coaches and managers, who I will always be grateful to for their support.”
Wiggins, nicknamed ‘Wiggo’, is the only cyclist to have won world and Olympic gold medals on both track and road. His other achievements include the world track hour record, set in June 2015, and wearing the leader’s jersey in each of the three Grand Tour. He also jointly holds the world record in the team pursuit.
His finest hour came in 2012, when he followed up Tour de France success by
winning time-trial gold at the 2012 Olympics in his home town of London.
“What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public though thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living,”
Wiggins added. “The 2012 season blew my mind and was a gas. Cycling has given me everything and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids. But for now, 2016 is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards, ‘feet on the ground, head in the clouds’ kids from Kilburn don’t win Olympic Golds and Tour de Frances’! They do now.”
Born in Ghent, Belgium to an Australian cyclist father, Gary, and a British
mother, Linda, Wiggins was raised in Kilburn, northwest London and would
become an icon of British sport. His ‘mod’ sideburns and irreverent public pronouncements made him a beloved figure and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II — making him Sir Bradley — in 2013.
BUT THEN THERE’S THIS….
British Cycling is still to provide proof a package delivered to Bradley Wiggins in 2011 contained only a legal decongestant, a British MP investigating doping in cycling said on Thursday.
Former British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford told Britain’s
Culture, Media and Sport committee last week the package, sent to Wiggins
during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, contained Fluimucil.
But Conservative party politician Damian Collins, who chairs the committee,
said British Cycling had not been able to provide a paper trail backing up
“It seems to be difficult to get precise records of exactly what was in
this package, why it was ordered and the detail that you would want to know,”
Collins told BBC Radio 4.
“Dave Brailsford told the committee he’d been told by the team doctor it
was this drug called Fluimucil, which is readily available in France, can
easily be obtained and there are no restrictions on its usage. So if it’s as simple as that, why get a British Cycling coach to courier it from Manchester via London to Geneva when you could have just gone to a pharmacy in France and bought it over the counter? That’s why a lot of people looking at this say it looks odd, it doesn’t look quite right.”
The delivery has come under the spotlight after it emerged Wiggins, who
retired on Wednesday, was granted therapeutic use exemptions for the banned
substance triamcinolone prior to three major races.
Wiggins, British Cycling and Team Sky, Wiggins’s former team, have denied
wrongdoing and there is no suggestion they broke any rules.
Brailsford, boss of Team Sky, told the committee British Cycling coach Simon Cope had brought the package with him to France while he made a scheduled trip. The Times on Thursday published a receipt showing Cope’s return trip had
cost £597.65 ($732.39, 699.28 euros).
After travelling to Manchester from southern England to collect the package, he flew to Geneva on June 12, drove to La Toussuire in France and returned to England the same day.
The newspaper said British Cycling president Bob Howden has written to the
committee to explain it has been unable to access documents because they are
“locked down” by UK Anti-Doping investigators.