Cycling: Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins retires

Bradley Wiggins became the country's first Tour de France winner in 2012 and bows out with eight Olympic medals, including five golds, and seven world titles, across track and road cycling, to his name.
Bradley Wiggins became the country's first Tour de France winner in 2012 and bows out with eight Olympic medals, including five golds, and seven world titles, across track and road cycling, to his name.PHOTO: REUTERS

Britain's first Tour winner is only cyclist with world, Olympic titles on both track and road

LONDON • Bradley Wiggins announced his retirement from professional cycling on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on a career that saw him become one of Britain's greatest sportsmen.

The 36-year-old became the country's first Tour de France winner in 2012 and bows out with eight Olympic medals, including five golds, and seven world titles, across track and road cycling, to his name.

"I have been lucky enough to live a dream and fulfil my childhood aspiration of making a living and a career out of the sport I fell in love with at the age of 12," he said in a statement on the Facebook page of his Wiggins team, accompanying a picture of his collected race jerseys, medals and trophies.

"I've met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years. I have worked with the world's best coaches and managers, who I will always be grateful to for their support."

Wiggins, nicknamed "Wiggo", is the only cyclist to have won world and Olympic gold medals on both track and road.

SIMPLY AMAZING

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.

'' BRADLEY WIGGINS, on his journey from humble beginnings to five-time Olympic gold medallist and the 2012 Tour de France title.

His other achievements include the world track hour record, set in June 2015, and wearing the leader's jersey in each of the three Grand Tours. He also jointly holds the world record in the team pursuit.

He competed in five successive Games from Sydney 2000 and won his fifth Olympic gold in Rio this year as part of the team pursuit, adding to a tally that also includes a silver and two bronzes.

His finest hour came in 2012, when he followed up Tour de France success by winning time-trial gold at the 2012 Olympics in his home town of London.

"What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public though thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living," Wiggins added.

"The year 2012 blew my mind and was a gas. Cycling has given me everything and I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids.

"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."

Born in Ghent, Belgium to an Australian cyclist father, Gary, and a British mother, Linda, Wiggins' "mod" sideburns and irreverent public pronouncements made him a beloved figure and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II - making him Sir Bradley - in 2013.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2016, with the headline 'Wiggins dismounts for last time at 36'. Print Edition | Subscribe