Sir Bradley Wiggins wasn’t just happy about securing his eighth medal and becoming Britain’s most decorated Olympian. He was also happy about ending his victorious Olympic run in Rio after an increasingly intense two-year build-up.
Sir Bradley thanked his friends and family for their support after winning gold in the team pursuit in a modest speech, where the 36-year-old lavished praise on teammates Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull. He told reporters: “I would never have come back if we didn't have the calibre - I have always said that Ed and Burkey for me are two of the most underrated athletes I have ever raced with, so talented at what they do and they don't get the credit for it because they are not the big road stars.”
Sir Bradley has won legions of fans with his talent, style and ability not to take himself too seriously, something he demonstrated during the national anthem, leaving his teammates in stitches.
His road to glory has not been an easy one and the mod icon even found himself struggling to pay his mortgage after the 2004 Olympics despite his medals haul. He returned to track cycling after storming to victory in the 2012 Tour De France, a decision he was apparently pleased with.
“I wanted it to end like this,” he said, processing his success out loud. “Not some crappy little race in northern France - Paris Tours - climbing off in the feed zone. It's brilliant.
“I was just saying to myself, thank God that’s over. I don’t have to live with this anymore. It’s gone now. Two years ago, all this press has been building up. I never underestimated it for one minute, I gave up the road, and gave up the big salary and I was just a number again. I wanted to go out with this.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies