Bradley Wiggins is king of the Mods

If Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France this week, he'll become the greatest ever sporting Mod. Will Dean launches a scooter salute

It's probably fair to say that Bradley Wiggins can't really experience all elements of authentic Mod culture. If he were to regularly stay up 'til 3am at the Twisted Wheel while dancing to Northern Soul and necking amphetamines, it's likely that the Chorley-based cyclist wouldn't be leading this year's Tour de France.

But when it comes to everything else, Wiggins is quintessentially Mod. The helmets, sunglasses and uniforms of road cycling can make it difficult for casual fans to tell cyclists in the peloton apart when they're flying past, but Wiggo's signature Paul Weller-style sideburns immediately mark him out in Sky's black and blue. His recently acquired yellow jersey makes things a lot easier now, too...

Combine that with a professed love of classic guitars, a scooter collection that began with a silver 1979 Vespa PX125, a love of sharp tailoring, a "fetish" for brogues and Adidas Originals trainers and Wiggins may well be the Moddiest man ever to play sport. For the 2012 tour, he was even presented by a custom-made seat from Italian firm Prologo with a graphic of himself on an Union Jack-painted scooter. All Mod cons, basically.

As if to hammer the point home, Fred Perry – the British fashion label whose clothes has dressed mods since the early Sixties – recently launched a range of Wiggins cycling shirts, replete with the famous coloured stripes of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) on the end of the sleeves.

Team Sky's official photographer, Scott Mitchell (also a Mod), previously followed the Belgium-born cyclist for the book On Tour With Bradley Wiggins and – alongside the shots of Wiggo's stunning cyclist's physique there are obvious nods to his Mod stylings – no more so, than a shot in which the triple Olympic Gold medal winner is perched on a scratched Vespa in a vintage England football shirt. But what does the Mod community think of having one of their own out in front in France?

"Very few modern-day Mods appear in the public eye, so those that do tend to be over-scrutinised from those within the Mod scene," says David Walker of the website Modculture. "Wiggins has been under the spotlight for some years now, but there has rarely been a bad word heard about him when it comes to his relationship with 'Mod'." A lack of modernist grandstanding has helped Wiggo's appeal spread beyond cycle fans, too, says Walker. "You do get the idea that Wiggins simply loves many of the things associated with Mod. He's never walked around in a parka, shouting 'I'm a Mod' and never used 'Mod' as a means to any credibility. That's certainly endeared him to the Mod scene."

But Mod, or not, cycling fan or not – most people are in agreement that having a Brit headed towards the Champs-Élysées in yellow is wonder: "It's great seeing a Brit tearing up the Tour de France," says David Walker. "It's even better if he has a decent haircut."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?