‘Entertaining’ isn’t perhaps the first word that springs to mind when thinking of post-stage press conferences – typically, riders would rather get back to the team hotel for a massage, food and rest rather than face questions from journalists, but Bradley Wiggins adopted a novel approach at the Tour de Romandie, with a series of one-liners in both English and French earning him a round of applause as he departed the press room.
In a video posted to YouTube by race organisers complete with appropriate subtitles in English or French as the case may be, in true showbiz tradition the Team Sky star, who had just won Stage 1 of the race following an uncharacteristic sprint to the line, left his audience wanting more.
The British champion’s relaxed demeanour may of course partly be explained by the fact that he is in the form of his life on the road – on Sunday, he sealed overall victory in the Tour de Romandie which coming after his win earlier this year in Paris-Nice has seen him widely tipped as favourite to win the Tour de France, which starts in Liege at the end of next month.
Perhaps more worryingly for his rivals, that unfazed attitude also seems to be manifesting itself in his behaviour on the bike, with Wiggins himself highlighting at the Tour de Romandie that when he encountered a mechanical problem on his bike during the final time trial, a couple of years ago he might have thrown it into a ditch, as he had done at the World Championships in Mendrisio; instead, on Sunday he calmly remounted, and went on to win both the time trial and the overall title.
Should he confirm expectations and challenge for the maillot jaune at the Tour, we could be seeing a lot more of the Bradley Wiggins show in France this summer, both on the road and in the press room afterwards – the evidence from Switzerland shows he’s on top form in both situations.
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.