Cycling

Bradley Wiggins brings record- breaking career to a close

"I've met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years," the five-times Olympic gold medalist said as he retired on Wednesday. Nadal vs Thiem

Bradley Wiggins brings record- breaking career to a close
ERIC GAILLARD REUTERS

Bradley Wiggins announced his retirement from professional cycling on Wednesday, drawing a line under a career that saw him become one of Britain's greatest-ever sportsmen.

British trailblazer

The wise-cracking Londoner with a Mod haircut played a major part in growing cycling's popularity in his homeland, becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012 and collecting a British record eight Olympic medals, including gold in the time trial at the 2012 London Games.

"2016 is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards, 'feet on the ground, head in the clouds' kids from Kilburn don't win Olympic Golds and Tour de Frances'! They do now," the 36-year-old Wiggins said on Twitter.

Wiggins, nicknamed 'Wiggo', is the only cyclist to have won world and Olympic gold medals on both track and road.

Wiggins' world records

His other achievements include the world track hour record, set in June 2015, and wearing the leader's jersey in each of the three Grand Tours. He also jointly holds the world record in the team pursuit.

TUEs

But the final months of his career have been overshadowed by whispers about shady practices during his time with Team Sky, which coincided with the most successful period of his career.

It was revealed in September that he obtained therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) for the banned substance triamcinolone shortly before the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

He has denied wrongdoing and there is no suggestion he has broken any rules, but UK Anti-Doping is investigating.

"All for riding a pushbike for a living"

"I've met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years," Wiggins said. "I have worked with the world's best coaches and managers who I will always be grateful to for their support. What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public through thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living," added Wiggins, who won five Olympic gold medals in total.

"2012 blew my mind and was a gas. Cycling has given me everything and I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids."