Wiggins makes his point

never one to beat around the bush, Bradley Wiggins is always more than happy to stride through the thorns and the underbrush rather than worry about offending anyone’s sense of propriety, and i like the man for that. who can forget his reply on live TV when he was asked, after a hard day in the mountains at the 2010 Tour, how he felt he’d ridden?

‘oh i was shit,’ he put it, ever so succinctly. whereas when most people that have been placed on a pedestal, for whatever reason, start to blab on too long, more often than not i really just wish they’d never opened their mouths in the first place, the more i hear from Wiggins the more i’m amused and impressed, in equal measure. he might be a bit of a mardy-arse but you can bet you won’t be seeing a staged photo of The Mod lying on his sofa with his yellow jersey hanging in the background…

on the subject of tradition, the Tour and LA, he had this to say recently:

People say: ‘You have to go back and defend the Tour de France title — it’s tradition!’ Who says it’s tradition? Lance Armstrong? Well, we’ve seen what’s happened to him and as it stands, I’ve won more tours than Lance.

brilliant. if ever LA and Wiggo got stuck together in a long, slow elevator ride, crankpunk would like to see the CCTV of that encounter, please…

the good ol’ days

all this does though does bring up a serious point, and it’s that we too, the fans, the wider society, have to accept some portion of the blame for creating this hoopla circus that our beloved sport became. we elevate these guys to god-like status just because they can ride a bike fast. quite often, that’s really just about all they can do well. they are no more deserving of our respect as people than anyone else. indeed, the very fact that these are driven, ultra-competitive athletes means it’s probably not the best idea to look to them for any sort of reasoned, enlightened leadership.

‘i despise that whole celebrity culture,’ said Wiggins at a Olympic press conference earlier this year. ‘[we’ve] become so fascinated by people who’ve become famous without achieving anything in their lives… ‘

they are, as Wiggins says, just guys that ride bikes…

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

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