In an interview with the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club (opens in new tab) podcast, Wiggins also revealed that he made his peace with former Sky teammate and rival Chris Froome when they met in a night club at the conclusion of this year’s Tour.
"I ended up playing a character, I had this veil of playing a rock star," Wiggins said of the persona he adopted in the wake of his Tour victory.
"I think it was a good disguise to walk through life like that, and the fame and adulation, I couldn’t handle that as me. I wasn’t good at taking praise.
"I handled it a certain way and be quite shocking and contentious and sweary. I’d get drunk at things in order to perform and play the fool. That didn’t serve me well long term as it built up a perception of me - the impact it had on the kids, and keeping up this image of Bradley Wiggins, really strong, Tour de France winner."
Wiggins never raced the Tour again after 2012 as Sky built their Grand Tour aspirations around Froome, who would go on to win the race four times. After a brace of tilts at Paris-Roubaix, Wiggins left Sky following the 2015 Spring Classics.
He confessed that he left the team under something of a cloud.
"Particularly towards the end of Sky, I was quite lonely. I used to just room on my own, wasn’t enjoying it, just ticking boxes. It was more for everyone else at that point, everything after 2012, I never really enjoyed anything after that again," said Wiggins.
"It’s quite childish and petulant how I handled situations but that just stemmed from not knowing how to cope with things. It impacted on the relationships around me. I sort of left Sky on bad terms really, which I regretted because I was the maker of that myself."
Wiggins retired from cycling after the Rio 2016 Olympics, shortly before the Fancy Bears hackers revealed that he had obtained therapeutic use exemptions for the corticosteroid triamcinolone before the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
In recent years, Wiggins has worked as an analyst for Eurosport, and he was present at this year’s Tour de France, where he availed of the opportunity to make his peace with Froome. The pair were uneasy teammates on the 2011 Vuelta a España and the 2012 Tour, where Froome finished second overall despite appearing stronger than his leader in the mountains.
"The whole fall-out with Chris Froome was really regrettable. I impacted on that a lot, the way I behaved," Wiggins said.
"It’s just been really nice to make peace with all those people since then. Me and Froome met up for the first time actually at the Tour this year, at a night club towards the end. We hugged it out. I speak to him a lot now, and it’s really liberating to go back and behave like you should have been behaving, really."
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