With a Tour de France victory and an Olympic gold medal added to his tally of victories this year Bradley Wiggins' next challenges will be off the bike as much as on it if he wants to successfully defend his Tour de France title next year, according to the man who masterminded those victories.
British cycling director of performance Dave Brailsford told the Asociated Press that Wiggins biggest problem over the next few months will be coping with fame.
“It will be very difficult,” said Brailsford. “I’d go as far as saying that most people, when they win something that they’ve really (wanted), a big major, career defining victory, the period after that is difficult.”
Wiggins has been this season's dominant stage racer, winning Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphine as well as the Tour de France and the Olympic time trial.
Not surprisingly, he has spent much of the last week celebrating, including meeting the Modfather himself Paul Weller at a Stone Roses gig .
“Bradley will get pulled this winter from award ceremonies to media things to all the things that normally aren’t there in life,” Brailsford said. “He will inevitably get asked to do a lot of that this winter. And the challenge with a lot of guys who hit a peak, they go through all of that and while everyone else is training really, really hard, they’re not. Not because they don’t want to, it’s just difficult to fit it all in.”
Brailsford acknowledged that the greatest skill of previous multiple Tour de France winners such as Lance Armstrong was time management.
“That’s where the guys who had repeated success on something like the Tour de France, like Armstrong, it’s a phenomenal achievement, in that sense, to manage your life and to have the discipline to manage your life,” he said. “And that’s the challenge for Bradley really now.”
Wiggins' season isn't over though. He and Mark Cavendish will ride the Tour of Denmark, August 22-26, and Cav will almost certainly face repeated sprint finish showdowns with rival Andre Greipel of Team Lotto Belisol .
“It's quite simple: cycling's biggest stars who are coming to Denmark” said race director Jesper Worre.
“It is without doubt the strongest field we've ever had, and I can only urge Danes to get out and experience these world stars”.
Piers Morgan vs the world
In a final bit of Wiggins-related news, former newspaper editor turned D-list celeb interviewer Piers Morgan has hit back at Wiggins fans who have been re-tweeting and re-posting a snark aimed at him earlier this month, but wrongly attributing it to Wiggins.
When Wiggins failed to sing the national anthem in the time trial medal ceremony, Morgan posted on Twitter:
“I was very disappointed @bradwiggins didn’t sing the anthem either. Show some respect to our Monarch please!”
In fact, athletes' singing the anthem is a fairly recent development and the more traditional posture is one of respectful silence, at least according to Holy Moly.
Colm Quinn responded:
“.@piersmorgan I was disappointed when you didn’t go to jail for insider trading or phone hacking, but you know, each to his own."
And, quick as a lie circling the earth while truth fumbles with its bootlaces, that comment was attributed to Bradley Wiggins and whizzed round Facebook and Twitter.
Late last night, Morgan tweeted: “Dear Trolls, that Bradley Wiggins tweet to me's a fake. So maybe send it to yourselves instead of me? There's a good of bunch of dimbos.”
Piers Morgan, you may remember, was sacked as editor of the Daily Mirror after it published hoax pictures of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi.
Earlier today, he seemed to obliquely acknowledge the momentum of Quinn's jibe at him, posting:
“Congrats to @mrcolmquinn - he knows why, and I admire the work. ps I suspect @bradwiggins probably agrees with what he never said, anyway.”
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.