Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed that he is studying to become a social worker and says he doesn’t “give a shit” about his cycling career.
The 2012 Tour de France winner and multiple world and Olympic champion revealed his future career plans in an interview with The Big Issue for its feature Letter To My Younger Self.
“I don’t give a shit about my cycling career now,” the 39-year-old told the magazine. “I’m just detached from it, I don’t want to live off the back of it. I live off of being me, and I’m happy in my own skin.”
Wiggins is currently working as a pundit with Eurosport, which hosts his podcast, and during the Tour de France reported for the broadcaster from the back of a motorbike inside the race.
However, he said he initially had misgivings about whether or not to take up the position.
“When I was offered a TV role I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it,” he explained. “It took me a while to find myself, redefine myself, and come back to cycling without an ego.
“So now I can do the TV job, but I’ve also enrolled to do an Open University degree in social work. I want to help people.”
Wiggins grew up in northwest London, moving there from Ghent with his mother after his parents split up when he was aged two, and he told the magazine: “Those horrific things I saw when I was growing up ... nothing can shock me now, and I want to use that mental toughness working as a social worker.
“And when people say, ‘Oh you’re that cyclist’, I’ll say: ‘No, that was a few years ago. I’m a social worker now.’”
Over the years, Wiggins developed a reputation as something of a party animal – he has admitted that he went on a bender lasting several months after the Beijing Olympics, where he won two of his five gold medals – and also cultivated a Mod persona, but he insisted that is all in the past now.
“It’s nice to be remembered but I can’t keep waltzing in with a rock’n’roll haircut and a suede suit on, drunk. I’ve moved on from that person. Everything ends, everything has to end,” he said.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.