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Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish lash out at British Cycling on Instagram Q&A

“I’m f*cking taking it, it’s mine,” says Wiggins of governing body's request to return Olympic-winning time trial bike...

Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish have lashed out at British Cycling – including criticising the governing body for requesting the return of kit including the time trial bike on which Wiggins won Olympic gold at London 2012.

The pair launched their broadside at the governing body in a Q& session on Instagram, reports The Guardian, citing a report on

Issues they addressed included Cavendish not being selected for the Tokyo Olympics, now postponed until next year.

Cavendish, who won silver in the omnium behind Italy’s Elia Viviani at Rio four years ago, said: “It’s hard for me to go. British Cycling have been … they realised now they don’t want to be in the position where they have to not take me.

“They said to me: ‘You haven’t done any World Cups’. When have I had to do World Cups?”

In response, Wiggins – who twice partnered Cavendish to world championship success in the Madison, an event now reintroduced to the Olympic programme, said: “That’s the thing that’s lacking now in British Cycling: someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.

“It’s all about box ticking. With you it was just a case of opening a few doors so you could get qualified, knowing you would deliver on the day, which you do and always did – three world titles [on the track], Olympic medal and all that.

“That’s sort of been taken away now. They’d rather someone qualified for all the World Cups, then finished 10th in the Olympics. I think it’s shit, to be honest, but hey, cycling has changed so much.”

Revealing how British Cycling had asked him to return the London 2012 time trial bike, Wiggins revealed that he had declined to do so, giving them a forthright response.

“They didn’t have a choice with me,” he explained. “I’m f*cking taking it, it’s mine, I f*cking did it, I’m having it.”

Recalling how he too had been asked to return kit, Cavendish said: “I’ve still got a skinsuit but they took the skinsuits back. What are we going to do? Show it off to people and say ‘copy this’?”

Wiggins said that he had received a similar request: “I’ve still got my skinsuit as well,” he said.

“They’re not having it. F*ck off. Try and get it from me. They try and take it back and it’s like, well, we did it, we grafted … These are my memories.”

The pair competed in the Madison together the last time it was included on the Olympic programme at Beijing 2008 but despite being world champions in the event at the time, finished well out of contention for the medals.

Wiggins had already taken two gold medals in Beijing in the team and individual pursuits, and Cavendish, who had cut short his participation at the Tour de France to head to China, was reported afterwards to have believed that his team-mate had lost focus before the event they were riding together.

In 2012, Wiggins, fresh from Tour de France victory, supported Cavendish in the road race, but the Manx sprinter was dropped on the final ascent of Box Hill as a large group of riders got away.

Wiggins’ Olympic career came to an end at Rio, where he helped Team GB retain its team pursuit title to claim the fifth gold medal of his career.

Simon joined 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.

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Nigel_2003 | 4 years ago

Presumably someone is trying to balance the books and realised that 7yrs down the line no-one thought to write-off Brad's TT bike.  Maybe they thought they could retrieve it and sell it off.  Technically he doesn't own it but it would be a nice touch to let that go given what he achieved that year and the profile it gave cycling in this country.

On the 2012 skinsuits, surely they're obsolete by now and the recovery to avoid copying is irrelevant.   (Though I think I read somewhere that on one occasion they found the previous generation skinsuits were quicker than the new versions, embarassingly - so maybe that was 2012 vs 2016 and they're hedging their bets for 2020/2021 and need the old kit back....)

Velovoyeur | 4 years ago

If a term along the lines of "You win a gold; you can keep the kit" was in the agreement for each rider then it would avoid situations such as this.

Otherwise, it would be assumed that not returning loaned equipment would be equivalent to theft. Any normal person would grasp this.

Just because you did well on borrowed equipment doesn't mean you become the owner. If you want it, at least ask. You never know it might be given to you as a recognition of your achievement. To slag off an organisation and group of people who helped you win a medal and to, then, steal the kit because you think it should be yours shows a distorted opinion. 

Captain Badger replied to Velovoyeur | 4 years ago

Quite, this seems like mismanagement of expectations on all parts. Presumably, they had to sign for the kit, with accompanying terms of use contract.

I've been involved in several big projects at work, some of which I have had the privilege of playing a key role in.  I doubt that my company will accept me keeping my IT kit when I finally leave, although maybe the argument “I’m f*cking taking it, it’s mine, I f*cking did it, I’m having it.” will win the day....

choddo replied to Captain Badger | 4 years ago

I kind of have the same view, though I think the level of personal sacrifice, physical pain, time and commitment make this a different league of achievement and emotional attachment than finishing a project. Maybe if you got to do 1or 2 projects in a career.

CXR94Di2 | 4 years ago

I bumped into team HUUB in Tenerife at the airport.  Now there is a bunch young riders, dedicated, hungry for success, being barred from events by the UCI.  Currently Britains best track squad, says something about the way British cycling is conducting itself.

Captain Badger | 4 years ago

There is nothing so edifying as the spectacle of 3 bald men squabbling over old combs......

longassballs | 4 years ago

Two biggest knobheads in cycling

chillyvanilla replied to longassballs | 4 years ago

wow! Really, I have always found them to be pretty down to earth guys, they don't even get into the top 50 biggest knobheads


CXR94Di2 replied to longassballs | 4 years ago

So you have the probably the greatest sprinter in road racing and multi Olympic winner turned grand tour winner.

What have you done?


gibbon replied to CXR94Di2 | 4 years ago

Being good at something does'nt preclude you from being a bellend.
Likewise not being good at something does'nt preclude you from having an opinion.


choddo replied to gibbon | 4 years ago

Being good at apostrophe placement is an underrated skill.

Ladders replied to longassballs | 4 years ago
1 like

How many times have you met them then? I've met both of them, and apart from being hero's of mine, also seemed very nice. 

peter101cycle | 4 years ago

Absolutely correct I would say of them!

Yorky-M | 4 years ago


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