As if it wasn’t already dead easy to be a fan of Brad … sorry, Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Last week the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (who accepted the award with class and humour in a kick-ass velvet suit), Tour de France champ and Olympic gold medalist, said two things which sent my estimations of him into the stratosphere. 

First, he conceded he’ll play second fiddle to Chris Froome in this year’s Tour de France, as the mountainous course better suits his teammate.

Froome did the same – some say reluctantly – and came second last year. “I would love to win a second Tour and if I get the chance to do it, that would be great,” he told L’Equipe.

“But it looks as if Chris will be the leader this year.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be riding 200km a day on the front of the bunch for him. We will be there together as he was last year with me in the mountains.”

So Wiggins, with a yellow jersey and a knighthood, will be support crew.

Good for Froome, probably, and certainly Team Sky, though this doesn’t mean Wiggins’ killer instinct will be gone.

He made no bones he’ll be right there if his ‘mate’ slips up or gets hurt.

“Reciprocal loyalty,” he calls it. I call it having a bang on the money attitude to competition.

Then came the Lance Armstrong interview.

He watched it as a cycling fan, a parent (with his seven-year-old son) and a man who knows what it takes to win the Tour.

He found it “heartbreaking”, “difficult to watch” and felt from “sadness” to “anger” at how “smug” Armstrong seemed.

“By the end it was ‘you deserve everything you get now’ and feeling no sympathy whatsoever,” Wiggins said.

The general public’s confused but ultimately disgusted view was validated.

He also shared first-hand experience at the difference between “the man I saw on the top of Verbiers in 2009 to the man I saw on the top of Ventoux a week later when we were in doping control together” when they were “going toe-to-toe”.

“It wasn’t the same bike rider.”

Wiggins may be a bit moody or love the limelight too much for some, but imagine a sports world where all the stars were so allergic to clichés and bullshit.

Agree or disagree? Is Wiggins a refreshing break from the clichés?


Hazard affair: A wasted chance 

My immediate thought when Eden Hazard tried to kick the ball from under a ballboy wasn’t shock or outrage, it was, “Here goes Chelsea again.”

Based on this year’s general patheticness from the uber-rich west Londoners you just knew what was to come – an apology as authentic as a watch bought in a Balinese nightclub and an excuse from someone senior (Rafael Benitez delivered this time).

The incident itself was less significant to me than their predictable handling of the situation. It’s always someone else.

Bizarrely, much of the debate was about whether the 17-year-old, who tweeted about time wasting, was in fact doing so.

Even if he was, it would have bought his team a good five seconds, which could have been added on by the ref. Totally irrelevant.

Ballboys, even if they’re being a bit cheeky, are untouchable, end of story, especially by gazillionaire players.

And yet again Chelsea ignored a chance to be the “bigger man”.


Photo: Getty