Sir Wiggo doesn't sound right, I will always be just Brad! Cycling star stays humble
22:54 GMT, 1 August 2012
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You might have expected Bradley Wiggins, with a seventh Olympic medal hanging round his neck, to finally settle into the moment.
As has become his wont, however, in a career which glitters ever more brightly with every additional triumph, he immediately looked to the future.
‘Now I have to go to Rio and go for five,’ said Wiggins, a reference to the number of gold medals won by Sir Steve Redgrave, of which Britain’s road time trial Olympic champion is now just one shy. Normality rules with Wiggins. He is a man of the people for the people, but possessed with a voracious appetite for sporting success.
Glory boy: Bradley Wiggins (centre) has been touted for a knighthood
Accolades are nice, but self-
fulfilment is better. It is why he is nonplussed about a likely
knighthood and why he jumped off the staged throne for the medal winners
in full view of a ticketed gallery inside the grounds of Hampton Court,
got back on his bike and rode out into the street to salute the general
public who had cheered him to victory. And it is why he will finally
allow himself to celebrate his historic Tour de France triumph 11 days
after standing atop the podium in Paris.
Wiggins added: ‘How does Sir Wiggo
sound It doesn’t quite sound right, does it It is what it is. As much
as it would be an honour to receive something like that, I don’t think I
would ever use it. I’d just put it in the drawer. I’ll always just be
Brad. At the end there I wanted to go and see my wife and also all of
the people who had come to stand there on the roadside to shout
throughout the whole race.
‘We all know about Olympic ticketing.
The great thing about cycling is that everyone can come and watch it.
Normally in Europe it’s very accessible whereas here you’ve got to be
one of the chosen few to get in. It’s a bit of a prawn sandwich fest.
‘It was nice to go back out of the
gates to see all of the public outside to show that I appreciated
everything they did for that whole hour. Ultimately all the real fans
are out there and it’s a shame that they couldn’t see the medal
ceremony, so it was nice to go back out and roll up and down just for
Chief: Dave Brailsford (right) with cyclist Chris Froome
‘You’d have to be deaf not to hear the
incredible noise they made. I’m never going to experience anything like
that ever again in my sporting career. That’s it now — topped off
there. It was phenomenal.
‘To be mentioned in the same breath as
people like Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy is an honour but ultimately
it’s all about gold medals once you’ve been an Olympic champion. You
don’t really talk about the others. There was only one colour that
‘But I am really proud of my
versatility. I’ve got a medal now in the madison, the team pursuit,
individual pursuit and the road time trial. It’s nice to be good at
everything. I don’t know how I cope with what comes next but vodka-tonic
helps. I’ll have a few of them tonight. You can’t train or plan for
what comes next. You just deal with it as you go along, which is why
people end up in the Priory, I guess, or as alcoholics.’
Delight: Wiggins celebrates his victory
Bronze medallist Chris Froome was
equally shocked by the British support on the 27.3-mile circuit into
suburban Surrey. He said: ‘It was very different from (a stage of the
Tour), really something special. The roads were lined with people not
just cheering but screaming our names. It leaves me with goosebumps just
thinking about it.’
Earlier there had been tears in the
women’s event, which was won by American mum Kristin Armstrong just 10
days shy of her 39th birthday. Britain’s Emma Pooley, a silver medallist
over a much hillier course in Beijing in 2008, finished sixth.
Pooley said: ‘I just couldn’t go any
faster. A lot hangs on this. For British cycling, for my coach. I
suppose I was more disappointed because I had a chance of getting a
medal. That’s the mistake of being an optimist. Perhaps I should be more