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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 09:10 GMT
Wiggins looks ahead
By Matt Majendie

BRADLEY WIGGINS FACTFILE
Bradley Wiggins after winning Olympic gold
Born: 28/4/1980
Professional team: Cofidis
Former teams: Linda McCartney, Francaise des Jeux, Credit Agricole
World honours: World pursuit champion - 2003
Olympic honours: Individual pursuit gold - 2004; Team pursuit silver - 2004; Madison bronze - 2004; Team pursuit bronze - 2000
Other honours: OBE
Bradley Wiggins has barely had a chance to catch his breath since becoming the first Briton to win three Olympic medals at one Games for more than 40 years.

The British public can catch a rare glimpse of the 25-year-old in action on home soil later this month as the star attraction at the Revolution event in Manchester on 19 November.

For the Olympic champion, the event is a chance to test his form and fitness during pre-season training.

But what he describes as the "post-Olympics chaos" has now just about stopped, although he still struggles to come to terms with himself as an Olympic champion.

"I lost the importance of what it first meant to win gold," he told BBC Sport. "I'd watched for many years people winning and that's why I'd had such a passion to follow suit.

"I was aware I'd won the gold - there it was on the coffee table - but I'd think to myself 'that can't be the same as Steve Redgrave's gold or Carl Lewis's'.

"But I had to accept I'd joined the club and that people were now holding me up there."

In fact, the remarkably down-to-earth Wiggins still finds his star status hard to believe.

"People's perceptions of you change overnight and, at things like the Revolution event, people feel like they can't approach you," he said.

You have to get on the bike, start right and get from A to B as fast as possible
Wiggins plays down his Olympic achievements
"But I'm still this kid from London who used to walk the streets getting myself in mischief.

"You become Olympic champion and people suddenly think you're a god in many respects and that they can't approach you."

If Wiggins manages to achieve his long-term goal, he can expect his star status to reach Redgrave-esque proportions.

The Manchester-based cyclist has targeted gold at the next two Olympics and you can virtually add one gold to Britain's medal tally at Beijing such is his confidence.

"I'll be even better prepared mentally," he said. "I'll be older and will have already done it once.

"The pressure will be on Brad McGee (who won silver behind Wiggins in Athens). He's missed out on Olympic gold three times now so this'll be his last chance."

To get an insight into what it is that makes an Olympic champion, do not expect any stunning revelations from Wiggins.

"People overcomplicate things," said Wiggins, who recently joined David Millar's former Cofidis team. "You get on the bike, start right and get from A to B as fast as possible."

He credits the simplicity of his approach to another former Olympic champion, Chris Boardman, with whom he worked closely ahead of Athens.

Bradley Wiggins shows off the OBE he was awarded
Wiggins was honoured by the Queen for his Olympic heroics
"I like his help if only for his bluntness," he added. "Initially it was a shock until you think 'this guy's done it, he knows what he's talking about'.

"It's different with say (British swimming boss) Bill Sweetenham trying to shake up the British swimmers. If Ian Thorpe had done it fine but I think Sweetenham caused such a stir because it was just some fat bloke from Australia."

Wiggins's next foray for his country looks set to be the Commonwealth Games. He has been included in England's squad, although he has yet to be granted permission to compete by his Cofidis team.

He expects the British nations to clean up in Melbourne come March, with "British cycling rosier than it's ever been".

"I think it's got the best cycling system in the world," he said, "and it's getting stronger and stronger. We're only just beginning to see what Britain can achieve on the world stage."

Before that, though, his aim is the Paris-Nice road race - also in March - before going for glory in the prologue at the Tour de France.

"I'm planning to hit peak form come March," he said.

So don't be surprised if the Wiggins family coffee table is adorned with yet more gold by the time Easter comes round.




SEE ALSO
Wiggins aims to follow Armstrong
09 Nov 05 |  Cycling


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