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Team Sky star unfazed both on and off the bike as he heads to Tour de France as one of the favourites

‘Entertaining’ isn’t perhaps the first word that springs to mind when thinking of post-stage press conferences – typically, riders would rather get back to the team hotel for a massage, food and rest rather than face questions from journalists, but Bradley Wiggins adopted a novel approach at the Tour de Romandie, with a series of one-liners in both English and French earning him a round of applause as he departed the press room.

In a video posted to YouTube by race organisers complete with appropriate subtitles in English or French as the case may be, in true showbiz tradition the Team Sky star, who had just won Stage 1 of the race following an uncharacteristic sprint to the line, left his audience wanting more.

The British champion’s relaxed demeanour may of course partly be explained by the fact that he is in the form of his life on the road – on Sunday, he sealed overall victory in the Tour de Romandie which coming after his win earlier this year in Paris-Nice has seen him widely tipped as favourite to win the Tour de France, which starts in Liege at the end of next month.

Perhaps more worryingly for his rivals, that unfazed attitude also seems to be manifesting itself in his behaviour on the bike, with Wiggins himself highlighting at the Tour de Romandie that when he encountered a mechanical problem on his bike during the final time trial, a couple of years ago he might have thrown it into a ditch, as he had done at the World Championships in Mendrisio; instead, on Sunday he calmly remounted, and went on to win both the time trial and the overall title.

Should he confirm expectations and challenge for the maillot jaune at the Tour, we could be seeing a lot more of the Bradley Wiggins show in France this summer, both on the road and in the press room afterwards – the evidence from Switzerland shows he’s on top form in both situations.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

46 comments

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joemmo [1164 posts] 4 years ago
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Seems like a timely point to revisit Wiggins' classic morphine sozzled post-hospital interview in last years TDF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL3_qGQ0mYk

I feel fabulous

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mancsi [94 posts] 4 years ago
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He is abit of an idiot, I still cant make my mind up about his attitude. Which tour was it last year where he said in an interview 'we have been welcomed like dogs'.

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festival [105 posts] 4 years ago
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Why do you say he is an idiot?
There is so much more to the life of a pro cyclist that goes on around just riding your bike. He was obliged to meet the press and did a good job.
He wants to get back to the hotel,shower, eat, massage, team briefings, more media,maybe, phone the family, Sleep etc etc.
Bradley has always had a strong character but the nature of the job can make you introverted, just think of all the interviews with most cyclists you have seen. Its great to see a sportsman use his wits in an interview.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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i think rule #43 applies  1

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Coleman [335 posts] 4 years ago
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festival wrote:

Why do you say he is an idiot?
There is so much more to the life of a pro cyclist that goes on around just riding your bike. He was obliged to meet the press and did a good job.
He wants to get back to the hotel,shower, eat, massage, team briefings, more media,maybe, phone the family, Sleep etc etc.
Bradley has always had a strong character but the nature of the job can make you introverted, just think of all the interviews with most cyclists you have seen. Its great to see a sportsman use his wits in an interview.

Quite. Especially compared to the average football player:

"Well, you know, it's, you know a game of two halves, you know, we gave, you know 110%..."

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mancsi [94 posts] 4 years ago
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Do you follow this guy on twitter? Have you watched any of his other interviews? Come on I mean lighten up! The guy is a great cyclists with a great chance this year. Just wish he would relax and crack a smile (Not when juiced on morphine)

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TheHatter [770 posts] 4 years ago
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Coleman wrote:
festival wrote:

Why do you say he is an idiot?
There is so much more to the life of a pro cyclist that goes on around just riding your bike. He was obliged to meet the press and did a good job.
He wants to get back to the hotel,shower, eat, massage, team briefings, more media,maybe, phone the family, Sleep etc etc.
Bradley has always had a strong character but the nature of the job can make you introverted, just think of all the interviews with most cyclists you have seen. Its great to see a sportsman use his wits in an interview.

Quite. Especially compared to the average football player:

"Well, you know, it's, you know a game of two halves, you know, we gave, you know 110%..."

I'm reading David Millar's bio at the moment and he's no fan of Bradley. Relates to when after the team helping him get 4th in the tour he didn't do his turn in Paris to help Farrar.

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81bambi [65 posts] 4 years ago
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Wiggin's post tour morphine interview was probably the only time he has actually seemed decent! Personaly I think he's a bit of a tool and doesnt have the right 'team' attitude other racers have like Cav for instance who's all about the team around him and what he can do for them as well as what they can do for him.

Dont get me wrong he's a decent rider and good for a track cyclist to prove the sceptics wrong and start pulling wins out of the bag and to see a Brit up there at the top.

But I for one will certainly not be cheering him on during the TdF, I'd like to see him help out his team mates instead of always wanting to be the leader of the pack!

Just my opinion tho!  16

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Dog72 [106 posts] 4 years ago
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He's alright.

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pwake [376 posts] 4 years ago
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81bambi wrote:

Wiggin's post tour morphine interview was probably the only time he has actually seemed decent! Personaly I think he's a bit of a tool and doesnt have the right 'team' attitude other racers have like Cav for instance who's all about the team around him and what he can do for them as well as what they can do for him.

Dont get me wrong he's a decent rider and good for a track cyclist to prove the sceptics wrong and start pulling wins out of the bag and to see a Brit up there at the top.

But I for one will certainly not be cheering him on during the TdF, I'd like to see him help out his team mates instead of always wanting to be the leader of the pack!

Just my opinion tho!  16

Ha! Brilliant! Gotta love the British attitude "But I for one will certainly not be cheering him on during the TdF" That'll have him worried.
Yeah, let's have another gallant loser who's a 'team player'. Much better than having someone who may be a little bit selfish but actually wins the Tour.
Tour winners are selfish, they're team leaders, the team is there for them. It can't be any other way and never has been.

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pwake [376 posts] 4 years ago
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And if you think he doesn't have the right "team attitude" I suggest you watch the last lap of Cav's Worlds victory. Massive pull by Wiggins and a massive contribution to a fantastic team effort.

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Simon E [2719 posts] 4 years ago
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He's an athlete, not a poet.

Does it really matter how much of your preferred qualities he shows in a press conference or interview?

I would prefer him to just try his best to win races and be Bradley Wiggins.

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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pwake wrote:

Tour winners are selfish, they're team leaders, the team is there for them. It can't be any other way and never has been.

Well, at the Tour, yes, but other leaders have been prepared to ride as domestiques in other races to show their appreciation to their team-mates (Hinault gives examples of him doing so in his book). And when it was the last day of the Tour, and Wiggo wasn't going to win it, and he had nothing else to save his legs for, he could have pulled for Farrar, couldn't he?

It seems that he's changed his attitude a bit though - he rode brilliantly for Cav at the World's last year and he's been thanking the team in a more Cav-like way at races this year. And yes, it's nice to see someone with a little character give the journalists a bit of a hard time when they can't ask anything interesting.

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belgravedave [268 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm worried, when people start acting like that in public it usually means one of two things
a) their idiots
b) their starting to crack up.
I don't think Wiggins is an idiot, so I fear he's starting to crack.

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armitage shanks [6 posts] 4 years ago
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I agree with you Pwake. The English eh. Gloom and doom merchants. For the first time in a long time we have a cyclist winning stage races, who could possibly win the TDF, and yet there is always a large contingent of cycling fans who say he's got no chance, the aussie will win, or some European - it's like they don't want a english winner. As for Wiggin's attitude. How do you expect elite sportsmen to be. At least he has got Attitude, and he speaks his mind. As for press the conference: you ride on the rivet for 5 hours and then you have to reply to the dullest of questions from a gaggle of journalists. Any one with a brain or a personality would have to resort to some kind of tactic as wiggins does, just to get through the monotony. All Wiggins needs to do now is keep his Mod-barnet as it is and those black socks pulled up and he will win the Tour.

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veseunr [257 posts] 4 years ago
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Wiggins has done massive turns on the front for Cav and Richie Porte (Catalunya?) in the last 8 months.

Saying he is not a team player just shows your ignorance of pro-level cycling.

British mentality to build someone up and try to knock him down. Sickening.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but some people's opinions are just wrong!" Wiggins himself.

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bikecellar [268 posts] 4 years ago
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Just back from a mini break in Nice, catching up on Romandie via Cyclingfans videos, Wiggin’s sprint win (with time to glance behind) and post race effusive “I owe it all to my team mates” was it all a new level of Wiggin’s impersonation (which I have read he is known for) it was all so Cavendish, the interview was really amusing. A confident win for Wiggo and Sky.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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step-hent wrote:

And when it was the last day of the Tour, and Wiggo wasn't going to win it, and he had nothing else to save his legs for, he could have pulled for Farrar, couldn't he?

The day after he'd buried himself going up Mont Ventoux to hang onto fourth place?

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 4 years ago
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Ha! Then he could be accused of doping.

Which would you like Mr Wiggo - the rock or the hard place?!

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Simon E [2719 posts] 4 years ago
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So many armchair experts lining up to knock a winner.

 37

Like Cav, he's not paid to talk or please faceless 'internet forum people'.

Unless you're in the Sky bus you won't know what Brad's really like as a team player. I've just finished his book, published in 2008, and I don't really know any more about his public personality than before.

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AWPeleton [3310 posts] 4 years ago
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As far as i'm concerned - which doesn't count for a lot - but it is typical of this country (and i mean England - you dont get it with the Scots, Welsh or Irish) to try and find fault before praising someone.

Wiggins is an enigma that only his family and close friends will understand. He "appeared" not to care about anyone but himself, but as a leader of a team he relies on the others and its the others that bury themselves for him. If he was a knacker i dont think it would happen. This season though he seems to have come out of his shell a lot more which is good.

I for one will be cheering him on at every opportunity so if people dont like him they can always watch the footie and become as anally dead as the players they are watching.  14

Glad i got that off my chest  40

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veseunr [257 posts] 4 years ago
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So ... quick count ..

Wiggo supporters: 16
Deriders: 4

...although my interpretation of opinions may be wrong!

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farrell [1950 posts] 4 years ago
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As much as I would class myself as a fan of Wiggo, I am fearful of the fact that he appears to be turning into Bryan Brown:
http://www.virtual-history.com/movie/photo/m01/large/00977.jpg

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rockfield [68 posts] 4 years ago
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Wiggins is a legend. He has a real chance of making history this year and to do that he needs to ride like the team leader not one of the boys. I think the fact that guys like Geraint will bury themselves for him shows you the respect he has. go Brad!

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Coleman [335 posts] 4 years ago
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Now I've had chance to view the video (it was blocked at work) back to the crux of the matter. An entertaining press conference. How often does this happen? Half-wit footballers and very dull tennis players are given far too much time in front of the camera.

He's paid to ride a bike. Journalists are paid to write stories that sell newspapers, attract advertisers to websites etc. Entertaining bloke. I hope he does well.

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captain_slog [338 posts] 4 years ago
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British sportsman wins major international competition: not bad.

British sportsman gives press conference in French: c'est formidable!

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 4 years ago
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Wiggins = Lad.

Remember the interview where they were like; what are you doing to prepare each morning.

He replied; Just getting up, eating my weetabix.

 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21

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TheHatter [770 posts] 4 years ago
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pwake wrote:

Tour winners are selfish, they're team leaders, the team is there for them. It can't be any other way and never has been.

I'd say its more than selfish to have the leader of the Vuelta working as his domesique as Wiggins did last year.

Though I think the main reason I can't cheer him on with any real enthusiasm was the way he joined Sky while still under contract. In my book that's breaking your word in a sport where this type of thing was sruprisingly rare (though will no doubt become more and more common).

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 4 years ago
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Raleigh wrote:

Remember the interview where they were like; what are you doing to prepare each morning.

He replied; Just getting up, eating my weetabix.

I bet that had some members of the foreign press scurrying for the WADA banned list  3

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AWPeleton [3310 posts] 4 years ago
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TheHatter wrote:
pwake wrote:

Tour winners are selfish, they're team leaders, the team is there for them. It can't be any other way and never has been.

I'd say its more than selfish to have the leader of the Vuelta working as his domesique as Wiggins did last year.

Though I think the main reason I can't cheer him on with any real enthusiasm was the way he joined Sky while still under contract. In my book that's breaking your word in a sport where this type of thing was sruprisingly rare (though will no doubt become more and more common).

I think you will find that Wiggins always said he would not ask to leave Garmin and it would be upto them to negoatiate with another team (aka Sky) as to whether he would leave or not. He never asked to leave always saying he was under contract and Sky paid Garmin a massive amount of money for him.

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