Earlier this year, Sir Bradley Wiggins announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Then he hinted that maybe he wouldn’t retire. Today he did retire. Definitely. We think.
In a statement on Facebook, Wiggins wrote:
"I have been lucky enough to live a dream and fulfil my childhood aspiration of making a living and a career out of the sport I fell in love with at the age of 12. I've met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years. I have worked with the world’s best coaches and managers who I will always be grateful to for their support.
“What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public through thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living. 2012 blew my mind and was a gas. Cycling has given me everything and I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids.
“2016 is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards, "feet on the ground, head in the clouds" kids from Kilburn don't win Olympic Golds and Tour de Frances'! They do now."
Wiggins’ career reached its zenith in 2012 when he became the first Briton to win the Tour de France before taking gold in the Olympic time trial 10 days later.
In all, he won a British record eight Olympic medals, of which five were gold. His fifth came in Rio this year as part of the team pursuit.
Wiggins also became world time trial champion in 2014 and is the current Hour Record holder after completing a distance of 54.526km (33.881 miles) in June 2015.
Speaking about his plans for retirement earlier this year, he said he had come to accept his level of fame and now wants to 'use it'.
He cited two British cycling Chrises – Boardman and Hoy – as being his role models for the next phase of his career, adding that he was keen to avoid becoming a TV celebrity.
“I don’t know how I want to be remembered on the bike. But I don’t want people to look back in 10 years and say, ‘Do you remember that famous cyclist with the sideburns? Whatever happened to him?’ And it’s like, ‘He was on the telly for ages, weren’t he? On all those game shows. And then he sort of disappeared.’ And then you read about me in the Mirror, walking through the park or something, you know, down and out. So I think about it a lot. Where do I want to be in 20 years’ time?”
As for what that might mean, he said: “I just want to throw all that energy into ideas I’ve had in my head for years. It’s about grassroots and youth and finding the next Bradley Wiggins, as it were, or just inspiring the next generation.”
— Wiggins (@OfficialWIGGINS) December 28, 2016