Britain’s first Tour De France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, has today announced his retirement from professional cycling. The 36 year old is Britain’s most decorated Olympian, possessing a total of eight medals including five golds.
He has had a career spanning over twenty years, during which Wiggo as he is fondly known,has seen moments of triumph and some of turbulence.He became a poster boy for the Team Sky dream team of riders headed up by Sir Dave Brailsford, a team who undoubtedly changed the face of the sport in the United Kingdom. In 2012 he added to his medal collection on home soil when he competed at the London Olympics. A year later he became the first British rider to win the gruelling Tour de France, leading to him being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year and receiving a knighthood.However, cycling is a sport that is still suffering the consequences of the Lance Armstrong scandal, amongst others.This year questions were raised bout Wiggins’ use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions, something which he has done throughout his career.
Despite this recent criticism, there can be no argument that his contribution to cycling has been invaluable.In a statement released today he said “What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public through thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living. He has certainly set the precedent for riders such as Chris Froome along with inspiring a new generation of riders and in a final and poignant line Sir Bradley remarked “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.”