‘I’ve backed up the hype’ - Ben Wiggins wins World Championships silver medal in junior time trial

18-year-old says he is unfazed by increased attention that comes with being Bradley Wiggins’ son

Ben Wiggins
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ben Wiggins has said his performance was proof that he should be judged on his own ability, not just by his surname, after winning a silver medal in the junior men’s individual time trial at the World Championships,

The 18-year-old British rider is the son of former Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins.

He told the media after taking silver behind Oscar Chamberlain of Australia - who took gold and the rainbow jersey - in Stirling that he was unfazed by the increased attention from the public, after a lifetime of dealing with it in the aftermath of his father’s Tour win and summer of success in 2012.

“I was seven when my dad won the Tour,” Wiggins said. “Pretty much after that, he was probably the most famous man in Britain for a while."

“When you’ve got people camping outside your house and stuff, this is nothing compared to that,” he added. “Having to miss days of school because we couldn’t get out … yeah, anything that comes now, unless it’s worse than that, I’m sure I can deal with it.

“It’s been what 11 years now. Since I’ve been a junior, there’s been a lot of attention around it. I’ve started to win races and do better myself, which means more and more attention.

“But I’ve taken it in my stride. There have been a few times when it’s been quite hard. But days like today, it’s nothing really, because I’ve backed up the hype.”

Wiggins explained that he rarely felt any pressure or a need to live up to his famous surname.

“Neither, really I’ve dealt with it pretty much my whole life, so I don’t think anything that comes is new,” he explained. “I just keep rolling."

Ben Wiggins

Ben Wiggins (left) finished runner up to Australia's Oscar Chamberlain, 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wiggins has made his road World Championships debut in Glasgow but did not complete the junior road race last weekend.

He explained that sacrificing the road race for a time trial silver medal was well worth it.

He said: “To get a medal at my first World Championships, it can’t get much better. Obviously, there’s the jersey but I’m sure I’ll get more opportunities to get that over the years. So I can’t complain about today.

“It was pretty easy to bounce back from the road race. This has been my main goal all year, with lots of steps to it.

“I was disappointed after the road race because I know I could do a lot better than that. But I’d almost say that sacrificing that is all right. If you told me I had to sacrifice the road race for a medal in the time trial, I’d have taken that. So I’m very happy today.”

Moving on from Scotland, Wiggins said he would be targeting several races at the fast-approaching junior track world championships.

“That’s another big goal of mine,” he said. “It has been all year, doing the points race, omnium and madison. I find I can jump in bunch races pretty easily off the road.

“It’s just about staying focused for the next couple of weeks. It’s pretty easy to do that when you’ve got a few main goals.

“My goal is to get a couple of jerseys there and go one better than I have here. I’m sure I can. I’ve got a lot of confidence on the track and, at this point, I’m probably a bit better at that than the road.”

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.