Bradley Wiggins gave a long. thoughtful interview to the Guardian newspaper. Here’s what he had to say about last year, the Tour de France and his plans for the future — with Twisted Spoke additions marked in red — which reveal what he was thinking — but left out.
ON THE TOUR
“Something happened after the Tour that put it into perspective. All of a sudden I stopped wallowing in self-pity and missing Garmin so much,” said Wiggins.
“I ended up in Hampstead for two weeks after the Tour, visiting a hospital every day, before my granddad died. But he was more than my granddad. He was like my father — even more than Jonathan Vaughters.”
“It made me realize there are many more important things than how I felt on the Tour – but I sure miss those guys at Garmin now. I’m not the most emotional person and I found it difficult to come to terms with his death and knowing I made a mistake leaving Garmin.”
“I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to hide behind smoke and mirrors. Leaving Garmin was probably a bad idea. I even miss drinking all that pomegranate juice.”
“You think it’s the end of the world and you’re completely alone in the whole saga but it’s just sport. Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan and things go wrong. Like me leaving Vaughters and Garmin. You forget the toll it takes and the hard work it needs. It’s only when you lose that you realize how bloody hard it is. I miss those crazy guys in argyle.”
“But it brings you down to earth with a thud and makes you concentrate on next year. That said, I wish Brailsford hadn’t convinced me to take the big bag of money and leave Garmin. And Boulder, Colorado is such a smashing place.”
THE WEIGHT OF EXPECTATIONS
“A lot had to do with hype and expectation,” said Wiggins. Garmin was cool and loose — not like the hyper intense, control freak Sky guys. I signed for the team and we had that press conference where, bang, the question came: ‘Are you ready to win the Tour?’
“I ended up up my own arse a little – and it was so far from the truth it was unreal. I didn’t do that a year before when I had loads of fun riding with Garmin. This year [in the Giro] we pushed hard and I was seventh with a week to go – but, eventually, we broke. I then got sick and the Tour started disastrously and I missed Whitey and Christian terribly.”
“It just didn’t feel as fluid and easy as the previous year, when I was riding on cloud nine and joking around with Zabriskie and Vaughters.”
“I remember coming back from the national road race in 2009 and, a week before the Tour, we — you know, my Garmin mates — stopped at a service station. I had a pizza and a couple of beers. This year I wouldn’t have a little glass of wine in case it ruined my Tour. But a more relaxed Brad, after a glass of wine, would’ve had a much better Tour. And JV has an awesome wine collection! When you look back it seems so simple and you think: ‘What a dick!’ I’ve learned my lesson.”
“I’m Bradley Wiggins. I’m capable of anything. I’m still after more evidence but I’m getting there. And, when I do, anything can happen. But I sure wish I was back at Garmin.”