Tour winner must maintain focus to retain title
Sky team principal Dave Brailsford has said that Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins’ next major challenge will be dealing with the attention his achievements have garnered in his home country.
Wiggins was asked to ring the bell that started the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony the week after his Tour triumph and he followed that up by taking gold in the time trial, the seventh Olympic medal of his career.
“Most people, when they win something that they’ve really wanted, a big major, career defining victory, the period after that is difficult,” Brailsford told The Associated Press.
Wiggins has been tipped to be feted with everything from a knighthood to the title of Britain’s Sports Personality of the Year in the coming months, and Brailsford acknowledged that Wiggins’ increasing profile means that he will be a man in demand during the off-season.
“Bradley will get pulled this winter from award ceremonies to media things to all the things that normally aren’t there in life,” he said. “He will inevitably get asked to do a lot of that this winter. And the challenge with a lot of guys who hit a peak, they go through all of that and while everyone else is training really, really hard, they’re not. Not because they don’t want to, it’s just difficult to fit it all in.”
Wiggins has downplayed comparisons between Sky and the US Postal Service team of the controversial Lance Armstrong – who was recently charged with doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency – but Brailsford acknowledged that the American had succeeded in repeating his Tour triumphs.
“That’s where the guys who had repeated success on something like the Tour de France, like Armstrong, it’s a phenomenal achievement, in that sense, to manage your life and to have the discipline to manage your life,” he said. “And that’s the challenge for Bradley really now.”
Wiggins has no plans to end his season just yet, however, and he is set to line up at the Tour of Denmark from August 22-26.
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