Lancashire Life - - Lancashire Heroes - WORDS: Neill Barston

The most dec­o­rated Olympic ath­lete in Bri­tish sports his­tory, Sir Bradley Wig­gins from Eccleston is en­joy­ing re­count­ing tales from his event­ful ca­reer

Be­ing back amid the ac­tion cov­er­ing one of cy­cling’s ul­ti­mate tests at this year’s Tour de France proved highly mem­o­rable for Sir Bradley Wig­gins. The five-time Olympic gold medal win­ner was in his el­e­ment across the chan­nel, de­scrib­ing it as an out­stand­ing high­light of his ex­pe­ri­ence in the sport. But he ad­mits he doesn’t miss the in­ten­sity of pre­par­ing for one of the world’s most gru­elling spec­ta­cles.

‘Cov­er­ing the tour made me re­alise how much I love it – when you’re com­pet­ing it’s hard to get ex­cited at the end of a race, so go­ing back to it with­out all the pres­sure and watch­ing it as a fan was great,’ he says, but adds that he won’t be tempted to get back in the rac­ing kit.

‘See­ing some of those climbs brought back mem­o­ries of just how hard it is. While peo­ple can make it look easy, it re­ally isn’t, espe­cially when you see guys get­ting taken out of the pelo­ton, and some of crashes you wit­ness. It can be bru­tal.

‘Cy­cling is all I have ever known, right back to my school days when I was fo­cus­ing on riding rather than my lessons,’ ad­mits the man who is the UK’S most dec­o­rated Olympic ath­lete. But he says that three years ago at the age of 36, it was not a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to walk away from the sport at a high point, en­abling him to fo­cus on rais­ing a young fam­ily with his wife Cather­ine at their home in Eccleston.

His un­prece­dented back-to­back vic­to­ries at the Tour de France and Lon­don Olympics in

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