18th Jul 2012 9:24am | By Shea Roll
Tour De France leader Bradley Wiggins, criticised Britain’s celebrity culture as he prepared for a week that has launched him into the sports spotlight.
When asked by the Telegraph what winning the Tour would mean to him, Wiggins said: “It’s nice to be recognised for achieving something in life because so much of British culture is built on people being famous for not achieving anything.
“It’s nice in sport when people stop you in the street and respect you for something you have achieved.”
Wiggins has poured his heart, soul and a lot of sweat into his cycling career. He remained relatively under the radar until his monumental achievements last year when he won the Tour’s green jersey and the World Championship.
The public recognized his efforts and humble attitude by voting him the BBC Sporting Personality of the Year.
If he wins the Tour, he will become a sports icon and be recognized around the world.
But Wiggins is not trying to look to far into the future and is focusing on the mountain-fest from Pau to Bagneres-de-Lunchon.
He accredits his rise to victory to his team, telling the Telegraph. “I felt a few years’ ago that I was failing as an athlete but in the last few years, with the right people around me, I’ve started to release my potential.”
“I was living in my comfort zone on the track, but I was capable of so much more and the people around me were aware of that. I’ve been in this system a long time with Dave and Shane [Sutton, British Cycling’s head coach], since I was 18.
"They’ve seen me grow and mature, to this point now where we’re leading the Tour de France with five days to go.”
In future Tours Wiggins emphasised that he will ride in support of whoever is chosen as the team leader.
He told the Telegraph, “This is a star team, not a team of stars. What we do well is we race as a team. We’ve done that all year. I am surrounded by incredibly talented bike riders – including Chris Froome. He will win this race one day and I will be there to support him doing that.
“We are a close group and we have been all year. We’ve proved on the road that there isn’t a problem.
“I want to be part of a successful Sky team until the end of my career. Whatever the line-up next year, and whoever the leader is, I will be there for them.
“At the start of this year, I was the one given the role to lead the team at this year’s Tour and I took the responsibility but this isn’t about me, I am the face of it but it’s never just been about me.”
Photo by Getty
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