Sir Bradley Wiggins says he will bow out of road racing at the Tour of Britain, with only the London and Ghent six days left on his schedule
Wiggins crossed the line 80th in London to finish 105th overall of the 111 finishes, admitting he struggled with the pace having come straight from the Olympics and the following celebrations.
With two six day events on the horizon, it won’t be the last we’ll see of 2012 Tour de France champion and five-time Olympic gold medallist, but Wiggins says the Tour of Britain was the best place to bow out of the road events.
“Obviously there’s the tradition of six days over the winter. As world champion now with Mark Cavendish we are going to finish off the season with the London six day and then for those who are aware of it, the historic Belgian six day in Ghent in November,” he said after the London stage on Sunday.
“It keeps me occupied for the next few months or so. But that is certainly it for the road. And what a way to finish.”
The 36-year-old was a regular feature at the tail end of the peloton in the race – the extra weight he was carrying from riding the track in Rio didn’t help him on the rolling stages in the UK.
That weight will hold him in good stead for the upcoming London and Ghent six days, where he and Cavendish will be well received, but the reception he got on the British roads last week also impressed the former Team Sky man.
“The team pursuit is four minutes and it’s about absolute power. Here it is day after day and we were out there for six hours on some days. It’s just so different. And as I say with the celebrations.. But I’m glad I did it now,” he added.
“We’ve been so well received. Wherever we went in the country the public came out in their droves. And then to finish off in London today we saw the reception everyone got. And to get a good mate and another British winner in Steve Cummings.”
Wiggins admits he’s spent a lot of time thinking about how he wants to be remembered when he hangs up his cleats once and for all.
“I don’t know how I want to be remembered on the bike. But I don’t want people to look back in 10 years and say, ‘Do you remember that famous cyclist with the sideburns? Whatever happened to him?’ And it’s like, ‘He was on the telly for ages, weren’t he? On all those game shows. And then he sort of disappeared.’,” he said in an interview with the Guardian, adding that he’d rather go down the same lines as the likes of Chris Boardman and Sir Chris Hoy.
“They’ve got massive bike ranges, they’re on TV, they’re educating people about what’s happening in bike races. Or, in other sports, Michael Johnson and Michael Jordan, or Gary Lineker – look at what he’s done. And I look up to those people and think that’s who I want to be like, as opposed to the Paul Gascoignes of this world.”