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The power of glory

Former Olympian describes victory as “one of the best of all time”

Bradley Wiggins of Britain takes a curve during the final stage of the Tour de France
Image Credit: Reuters
Tour winner Bradley Wiggins of Britain takes a curve during the final stage of the Tour de France cycling race on Sunday.
Gulf News



Bradley Wiggins made the entire country proud of him when he handed Britain its first Tour de France win last Sunday. But the champion cyclist has barely any time to celebrate such a great win as he turns his attention to the London Olympics.

Wiggins, 32, will be hoping to carry forward his winning form in the men’s road race on July 28 and the individual time trial on August 1.

Wiggins is a former three-time Olympic track champion and by becoming Britain’s first winner of the Tour de France he added yet another feather in his long list of achievements.

In the final stage, which finished in Paris last Sunday, Wiggins also helped set up Mark Cavendish’s sprint victory in front of thousands of British fans on the Champs Elysees, who roared the 2012 winner home.

“Everything turns to the Olympics and I’ll be out on the bike as I’ve got an Olympic time trial to try and win,” Wiggins said after his win in Paris.

“It’s a little weird to leave Paris without a party because it would be nice to spend time with the team and really enjoy it,” he added.

And for sure that win meant a lot to the hosts of these Olympic Games as Britons went gushing about Wiggins’s win. Politicians were left hoping his win in the world’s greatest cycling race could deliver other benefits, including the country staging the World Cycling Championships.

There was even a suggestion that the cyclist’s success could help reduce the nation’s obesity problem while inspiring the overweight and lazy to get off their couches and on to their cycles.

Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson was effusive in his praise. “I think in terms of individual achievements, I am struggling to think of a better victory,” he said.

And former Olympian Jonathan Edwards, a triple jump gold medallist was another adulating fan. “I think probably this is one of the best of all time. It’s difficult to say whether it is the best, but it is one of the best by a British sportsman,” he noted.

Whether this power to change comes into effect will well be documented over time.