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Politicians and cycling experts pontificate on how a win will change the landscape

Wiggo's almost-inevitable victory at the Tour de France is an astonishing achievement with its roots in the track medals haul in Beijing, but what does it mean for cycling from this moment in?

Chris Boardman says it's "the biggest thing in the sport of cycling for Great Britain - ever" in an interview with the BBC.

He explained the success begets success argument, saying: "If one of them manages to achieve greatness... the other right next to them says that's a bridgeable gap - I train with them and I beat them upon occasion."

Olympic medallist and chairman of the British Olympic Association, Lord Moynihan said that the win also boded incredibly well for the Olympics, starting next week in London.

"We've been on a long journey and it is appropriate that Bradley Wiggins is closing in on an outstanding success," he said.

"His cycling team is not a team of stars but a star team, and that is the type of approach we have taken to in building this Team GB for the Games."

Dave Brailsford, Team Sky principal, appeared emotional as he spoke about Wiggins on ITV.

He said: "For Bradley to win this race... it's the stuff of dreams, really."

"I wouldn't underestimate the Olympic thing... it's a different sport, a different playing field if you like, but I guess today is all about Bradley and his achievement

He added that the new interest in cycling could inspire a new generation of road cycling champions. "We're trying... to build the base of the pyramid... I like to think we've done our little bit to achieve that."

Olympic track champion Chris Hoy was also cheerleading for the sport's future, telling British Cycling: "It inspires me and it's an amazing story for the sport. You can see it's everywhere in the general media and it can only be good for the sport.

"Hopefully all the benefits of all the Olympic exposure for cycling and the Tour de France and what Mark Cavendish has done over the last few years, will encourage people to get out on their bikes."

William Fotheringham, Wiggins's close friend and author of Roule Britannia, about British cyclists in the Tour, hinted that a TdF victory could signal a Tour return to Britain sooner rather than later, with Yorkshire a favourite to host the start of 2016's event.

"The velodromes and circuits of Britain are full of kids who want to be Wiggins or Cav, and their number will only increase this summer," he said.

"The other thing that will happen, I am certain, is the Tour will return to England, and soon."

Or indeed Scotland as Edinburgh are also bidding for to host the Tour Grand Depart.

Of course just because people know who Bradley Wiggins is that doesn't necessarily mean all will be sweetness and light on the roads of Britian from now, as one member of the cycling Twitterati, Adam Tranter, wryly tweeted:

"Cycling now definitely on the map. This means drivers can now shout "who do you think you are? Barry Wiggins?" before turning left across me."

In a congratulatory message to Wiggins and co, Sally Hinchcliffe from Cycling Embassy of Great Britain warned politicians to make the most of the nation's enthusiasm for the sport.

She said: "What better opportunity will there be for the country's politicians to announce that they will be greeting our returning heroes with a policy that puts cycling right at the heart of the UK's infrastructure?

"Not just as a sport - on closed roads, or velodrome tracks - but designing cycling into every street and every junction. We'd hate to see all those shiny new bikes soon gathering dust in the nation's sheds once our aspiring Wigginses taste the reality of cycling on our roads.

"Let's seize the moment and make Britain's roads fit for all its cycling heroes, be they as fast as the Manx missile, or just pottering down to the shops."

We will be adding further reaction to this story, but we would also like to hear what you think, will Wiggins' win usher in a golden age for cycling in Britain or will it be business as usual for cyclists on Britain's roads?

 

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.