Bradley Wiggins reveals he 'doesn't ride a bike anymore'

Bradley Wiggins explains he ‘doesn’t ride a bike anymore’ because the eight-time Olympian ‘didn’t like the person he became’… and reveals the ‘haunting’ day his estranged father told him ‘you’ll never be as good as your old man’

  • Bradley Wiggins has explained he has stopped riding a bike since retiring
  • The Team GB Olympian admitted he ‘didn’t like the person he became’ on a bike
  • Wiggins also gave an insight into a ‘haunting experience’ when he met his dad 

Bradley Wiggins has honestly revealed he ‘doesn’t ride a bike anymore’ because he didn’t like who he was when cycling and explained his only memories of winning the Tour de France on the famed Champs-Elysees in Paris comes from watching it back on television.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist is widely celebrated as Team GB’s greatest-ever champion, but has revealed the difficult personal battles he faced during his cycling career in an upcoming six-part BBC documentary series called ‘Imposter Syndrome.

Wiggins also gave an insight into his difficult relationship with his father, Garry, and how the estranged parent once showed jealousy at his achievements when he told him ‘you’ll never be as good as your old man’. A day that Wiggins describes as the ‘hardest day’ of his life.

Success in 2012 saw Wiggins become the first-ever British rider to win the Tour de France. That achievement propelled the now-retired athlete into global limelight and from there his life changed completely.

Explaining that he now doesn’t ride a bike, Wiggins told interviewer, Rob Adcock: ‘I don’t ride a bike anymore because I don’t like the person I became when I was on it.

Bradley Wiggins has revealed how he has stopped cycling since retiring from the sport

Wiggins became the first-ever British rider to win the famed Tour de France back in 2012

But, Wiggins explained in a six-part documentary with the BBC that his only memory of being on the Champs-Elysees comes from watching celebrations back on television

‘I can’t imagine achieving anything like that now in a sports perspective because I’m not the same person I was. I’ve grown now. 

‘I have all the answers. That all stems from my sporting career and greatness stems from an oddness about me which wasn’t resolved from childhood.

‘I was the most confident bike rider when I was on it. But step off the bike and I had to step back as Bradley Wiggins, because the bike was where I was most comfortable and gave me all my confidence in my life,’ he said.

Describing how he doesn’t recall winning the Tour de France and how the intense media coverage of his success affected him in the following years, Wiggins continued: ‘When I came off the bike and had to sit on the throne in front of a bank of cameras, I’d have to give it victory signs, be funny, and perform.

‘I have no memory of standing on the Champs-Elysees or on any Olympic podium. The only memory I have of it is watching it back on TV.

‘The minute I stepped off that rostrum I was back as myself and I didn’t have the veil, the cycling, the bike.

‘I had to be me, the person, and suddenly I felt, like, on my own. Which is why I then started growing the sideburns, the hair longer. Put funny suits on. It was all a distraction from actually being me,’ he said.

Wiggins called time on his 16-year professional cycling career in 2016, ending his astonishing time in the sport with one Tour de France title and a record eight Olympic medals along with other individual accolades.

Wiggins also revealed how a meeting with his estranged father, Garry, was a ‘haunting experience’

Wiggins is Team GB’s most decorated Olympian having won eight Olympic medals during his established career

However, one part of his life that the now 43-year-old doesn’t look back on with fondness is his broken relationship with his estranged dad.

His father Garry was a celebrated Australian six-day track racer but was absent for most of his son’s upbringing throughout childhood and teenage years.

Wiggins Snr died at the age of 55 in 2008 following an altercation in Australia and was found discovered unconscious in the street.

The father and son exchanged letters at times throughout his childhood, but a meeting with his dad when aged 19 is described by the celebrated cyclist as a ‘haunting experience’.

‘He had no money and he came over to Belgium to a race I was doing, and I’ll never forget it. It was probably the hardest day of my life, actually, meeting him. Within a week he said to me, ‘You’ll never be as good as your old man’. The sort of jealousy crept in. To this day I remember clearly where I was when he said it,’ Wiggins told the BBC documentary. 

However, Wiggins has explained that he stopped riding a bike because he didn’t like who he was when cycling

‘I was in the centre of the track in Ghent in Belgium. I’d done quite a good performance on the track and everyone was cheering for me. I was racing against men and shining. And he couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle the attention on me.

‘He said to me, ‘Just don’t forget, you’ll never be as good as your old man’. He squeezed my arm and came in quite close to me so no one else could hear.

‘It was quite a haunting experience. From that day on there was this drive for so long after that to be better than him. That’s what spurred me on in 2012,’ he said.

The upcoming BBC documentary with Wiggins is set to air next week. 

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