Tour win still feels ‘surreal’ – Wiggins
In this Saturday, July 7, 2012 file photo, Bradley Wiggins of England speeds in the last meters of the prologue of the 94th Tour de France cycling race, a 7.9-kilometer (4.9-mile) individual time trial, in central London. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
By Julien Pretot
VALKENBURG, Netherlands, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Life has been such a blur for Bradley Wiggins since becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France that the enormity of his achievement is yet to sink in.
Two months to the day after winning the sport’s most famous tour Wiggins was preparing for the world championships men’s race where he will ride in support of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.
In between he also won the time trial gold medal at the London Olympics and has been dealing with the daily demands of suddenly becoming a household name in Britain.
He says his Tour win still feels surreal and he has to remind himself of what he did.
“I don’t know what to make of the Tour. I haven’t come to terms with what happened in the Tour,” Wiggins told Reuters during a brief pause in his whirlwind schedule.
“I have to remind myself because there was no time for reflection, we came straight into the Olympics, it was all about the Olympics and post-Olympics, it was still about the Olympics.
“The Tour got forgotten a little bit and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience at all. It’s not something you remember in a positive way. It’s just a little bit surreal.
“I had never imagined I would win the Tour de France. It’s hard, you have to remind yourself you won the Tour.”
Wiggins said he was looking forward to the end of the season and having a little time to look back upon the last few months.
“It’s been non stop, it’ll be nice to finish the season and start reflecting because once the season stops you can reflect on the season as a whole,” he said.
“Life changed quite a bit, I haven’t really got used to that yet. It was always going to happen with the Tour and the Olympics. Doing what I did on the Tour and then the expectations going into the Olympics, then then doing what I did at the Olympics topped it off really.”
With another tough season already looming, Wiggins will not have much time for reflection, although he said the long hours of pre-season training would help.
“I don’t know when I will realise,” he said. “I’m such a fan of the sport, I watched the Tour so many times and it still goes on with Lance (Armstrong) and that …
“They talk about him being stripped of his titles, and I’ve won more tours than Lance and when I say that to myself it’s a bizarre thing to come to terms with.”
Team Sky rider Wiggins said he was far more comfortable in the saddle of his bike than dealing with the endless demands on his time from media, sponsors and the like.
“I’ve started the thought process that I have to start training in five weeks time,” he said.
“It’s what you do best, it’s all I’ve ever done since I was a kid, and then you win something like that and then a whole different life is thrust upon you.
“It’s how you embrace that life. I don’t want to become a celebrity, I’ve said ‘no’ to a lot of things, some things really nice. Ultimately you have to go back to work.
“It’s what gives you routine in your daily life or you end up drinking and going to parties and being a celebrity.
“I don’t want to be that, it’s not what put you there in the first place. You have to go back to what got you there in the first place you have to be quite ruthless.”
Wiggins said he was likely to change his programme for 2013 and set himself some different challenges.
“I’ll probably have to change it a little bit, just to keep it fresh and new otherwise you always compare to what you did this year,” he said.
“I’ll just change the programme a little bit, set some new goals, some new early season goals, maybe (ride) some classics.”