‘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.