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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.