That's Entertainment: Bradley Wiggins reinvents the post-race press conference (+ video)

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

by Simon_MacMichael   May 2, 2012  

Bradley Wiggins Romandie press conference

‘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.
 

46 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

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.

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 14:32

like this
Like (4)

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?

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7930 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 14:58

like this
Like (3)

Ha! Then he could be accused of doping.

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

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2953 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 15:14

like this
Like (4)

So many armchair experts lining up to knock a winner.

Yawn

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.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1910 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 15:25

like this
Like (4)

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. Angry

Glad i got that off my chest D Oh

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2675 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 17:55

like this
Like (4)

So ... quick count ..

Wiggo supporters: 16
Deriders: 4

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

posted by veseunr [279 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 18:02

like this
Like (3)

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

posted by farrell [1311 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 18:30

like this
Like (4)

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!

posted by rockfield [67 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 19:57

like this
Like (4)

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.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 20:31

like this
Like (4)

British sportsman wins major international competition: not bad.

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

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [263 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 20:52

like this
Like (3)

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.

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 20:58

like this
Like (3)

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).

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 21:46

like this
Like (4)

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 Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7930 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 22:17

like this
Like (3)

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.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2675 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 22:19

like this
Like (3)

I always held his 2008 Madison performance with Cav against him until the World Championships last year he was a ledgend and "made up" for any previous.

I thought it was a funny press conference and all the best I will be shouting for him in all his races.

posted by IOM Paddy [38 posts]
2nd May 2012 - 22:55

like this
Like (3)

I think he's pretty passionate but also pretty patient with the press. He says what he likes and Sky shows no sign of even trying to reign his press style in - so good for him.

I live near Wiggins. I've yet to meet him but we have friends in common and he's apparently a normal bloke trying to stay normal with all that demanded of him from a lot of idiots he'd rather not deal with. He rides with the local chainy when he's home, his wife races with our club and he supports local riders with no attitude or publicity.

I like him. Smile

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 0:00

like this
Like (4)

I shall be cheering on Wiggo because it would give many of my friends and me immense pleasure to see a Brit finally win the TdF

There's zero point trying to 'know' someone through the distorting prism of the media, and people who claim incredible knowledge and insights into celebrity or sportspeople's personalities are seriously deluded

posted by fluffy_mike [79 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 1:21

like this
Like (4)

Had a good chat to him in Nice, really nice guy, mind you get him on the right subject, cycling history or music, and hes fine.

posted by simoncon [52 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 7:16

like this
Like (3)

I actually thought it was a great set of responses to some poor questions from Swiss journalists (I live in Switzerland).

I think if Wiggins is leaving no stone unturned to get his maximum performance then it's not unreasonable to expect the journalists to do the same.

"Was the last kilometer downhill?"

That's like asking how long the stage is, it's in the road book for the race, which was given out for free to all fans and of course would have been in the media tent.

It's an opportunity to get some real insight from the riders, no-one asked questions about the next day's stage which was medium mountains and included sections of this years TDF route.

Would he ride TT or adapted road bike for the Sunday TT that was 70% up hill?

Was Cav planning on contesting any sprints or just Giro d'Italia training?

What is Wiggins planning in the schedule for his next race?

Will he ride Tour de Suisse?

Does he enjoy Tour de Romandie's scenery?

Where did he learn his French?

There are lots of questions better than those that were asked!

Tom

Brevet

Tom Eeles- SwissRetreat Cycling Tours's picture

posted by Tom Eeles- Swis... [7 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 8:29

like this
Like (1)

I think hes a legend! But to say he isn't a team player is ridiculous! After paris nice and wvery stage of romandie he thanked 'the boys' and said its good to get the win 'for the boys'! 'its nice to pay them back with a win! Those 'boys will ride themselves into the ground for that guy!!! I hope to be standing on the streets of Paris on 22nd of july cheering both a british green jersey and a british yellow jersey! Allez Sky

The difference between me and lance Armstrong is that I still have a chance of winning the Tour de France Smile

Doaky's picture

posted by Doaky [57 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 8:43

like this
Like (0)

Perhaps a bit disappointing after such a hard effort to have, what appeared to be, uninterested press taking up his time. Poor performance by the journalists.

posted by Celeste08 [38 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 9:28

like this
Like (0)

I don't care what he says during a press conference, as long as he keeps winning! Remind me again what's that old saw "judge a person by their deeds not their words"

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [572 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 9:36

like this
Like (1)

Sports press conferences have become so dull that if anyone acts differently to the norm they're seen as weird.
This is a masterclass in confidence and charisma. He is in a very good place mentally right now.
A pleasure to see.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [291 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 10:34

like this
Like (1)

Just logged in to say how funny and charismatic this is, so quite amazed by some of the negative comments on here. Would you rather listen to Wayne Rooney struggling over the same lines about giving 100% in a game of two halves? A lot of premiership footballers struggle to string together a sentence in their native tongue, and this guy can flip between 2 languages with enough eloquence to make his interviewers laugh!
Great sportsman, genuine personality.
Allez Wiggo, I'll be cheering 'till I am hoarse.

posted by kace19 [22 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 10:57

like this
Like (1)

mancsi wrote:
Just wish he would relax and crack a smile (Not when juiced on morphine)

1. Why on earth should he 'crack a smile?' He's a top pro cyclist, he's not there to perform and please an audience by grinning and being nice.
2. He does in fact smile a lot in this interview, and in others sometimes.

I think he's caught between not wanting to bother with interviews and having an obligation to do them. He seems to see them as a contactually necessary pain in the arse. If he feels resentful at having to be there, it would explain the snipes and the lack of too much smiling. Also, the annoyance you might feel would allow you to be free enough to bat things around like he does above, make jokes etc., because you wouldn't care.

He does come across as a bit arrogant sometimes, and, worse, as cool, which must be linked with his 'mod' image. Look however you like, obviously, but being a 'mod' at thirty - forty plus years old, and being cool is a bit of a contradiction in terms. In my humble opinion.

posted by bikeylikey [161 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 11:01

like this
Like (1)

bikeylikey wrote:
mancsi wrote:

. Look however you like, obviously, but being a 'mod' at thirty - forty plus years old, and being cool is a bit of a contradiction in terms. In my humble opinion.

A bit harsh - The Mod Father P Weller still looks better than the average old bloke ( well - like Dot Cotton in a punk wig to be honest..) so if Brad wants to keep the feather cut into old age good for him.

I remember the massive amount of interest in Wiggo's hair two years ago when he first grew it. There was a lot of conservative comments then along the lines of "For godsake get your hair cut for the good of British sport!" I suspect it was a few slap-headed journos without Olympic Gold medals pushing that story..

And you wonder why Wiggins is bored of answering piss poor questions... Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 11:29

like this
Like (1)

stumps wrote:

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.

I know he said that - he also made the comment about needing to leave a team he compared to Wigan to go to a team he compared to Man Utd so I think its fair to question how uninvolved he was in the process.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 20:38

like this
Like (0)

TheHatter wrote:

I know he said that - he also made the comment about needing to leave a team he compared to Wigan to go to a team he compared to Man Utd so I think its fair to question how uninvolved he was in the process.

Does depend on context though - cycling teams are known for not having a hugely refined or polished approach, whereas Sky is known for the complete opposite, and this probably would feel very different. Bernie Eisel echoed the same sentiment when he moved across, if I recall correctly he said Sky was run more like an F1 team, something like "everything is catered for, for the riders, all we have to do is ride our bikes. It's how a professional team should be".

The other thing is, we don't know if a spat occurred between him and Garmin during the negotiations, that might have been enough to encourage a little dig.

Anyway, not being funny, but for someone with the psyche required to have the drive necessary to compete as a top-level athlete, he seems relatively normal to me.

Party GO GO WIGGO! Party

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2953 posts]
4th May 2012 - 8:33

like this
Like (0)

The best bit:-

Wiggo: 'Have you ever ridden a bike? Never, it shows.'
Journo: '...I did ride.'
W: 'Oh really? Have you ever won the tour of Romandie?'
J: 'No, But I've won Zurich's Championship'
W: 'Really?'
J: 'Yeah, it's good, no?'
W: 'Yeah, sure, it's good.'
J: 'Do you know it?'
W: '...no.'

I almost died laughing at that part. But hey, look, a sportsman with a personality and a sense of humour! Lets chastise him for having a laugh >.< Seriously, guys, lighten up...

posted by Linkinbassist [33 posts]
5th May 2012 - 16:39

like this
Like (0)

It is nice to see a sportsman with a positive attitude. It was scary though to hear of his accident with a van last November, but luckily he is fine. As a driver of a BMW car, I’m always wary of cyclists turning into my lane out of nowhere. I’m not blaming anyone, but I think all of us need to be educated about cycling on the road. I was on the way to get my car serviced for swirl flaps faults when a cyclist swerved into my path. I almost hit him!

Peter Mould - http://www.pmwltd.co.uk

posted by Peter_Mould [17 posts]
26th December 2012 - 4:27

like this
Like (4)