Forget ski-jumping, some cycling fans, not to mention PR professionals, may be practising the newer activity of head-desking at the news that Sir Bradley Wiggins will need to keep taking painkillers if he is to appear on Sunday’s second episode of snow sports reality show, The Jump.
Wiggins, who is at the centre of the so-called Jiffy Gate controversy that has led to UK Anti-doping investigating both British Cycling and Team Sky, tore a calf muscle on Sunday’s season premiere of the Channel 4 show.
The five-time Olympic champion cyclist and 2012 Tour de France winner had previously injured his foot while training.
But his latest injury, which happened during a slalom race, may force him out altogether, with the 36-year-old saying “I don’t know if I’ll be back next week,” reports the Sun.
A source linked to the show, which is in its fourth season, said: “Bradley was gutted to have sustained an injury and is doing all he can to stay in the process.
“He was taken to see a doctor and given painkillers.”
The source added: “But Bradley’s as hard as nails so bosses think he will be fine to carry on – as long as he doses himself up regularly.”
It’s unlikely that Wiggins will welcome that choice of words, given the shadow cast over his successes by the revelation after the Rio Olympics that he had been granted therapeutic use exemptions to use otherwise banned medication at races including the 2012 Tour de France.
Scrutiny of Wiggins intensified after news broke of the mysterious Jiffy Bag delivered to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné that contained a medicine for Wiggins’ use. Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford has claimed it was a decongestant, Fluimucil, that is not banned.
Away from those controversies, Wiggins has said that following two decades of training to win cycling events, he’s a bit more relaxed about appearing on The Jump – he wants to improve his skiing, rather than vie for first place.
The next episode of the show – with or without Wiggins – will air on Channel for on Sunday evening.
Even if he misses it, we could see him back on TV soon, perhaps even in an episode of EastEnders with Wiggins, who has been in an episode of radio soap The Archers, revealing that he once had to turn down the chance of a walk-on part in the BBC1 show due to racing commitments.
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.