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British cycling great Sir Bradley Wiggins studying to be a social worker | UK News

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Sir Bradley Wiggins has said he is studying to become a social worker to redefine himself after retiring from cycling.

The 39-year-old, who won five Olympic gold medals and was the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012, has said he is now trying to find ways to help people.

Sir Bradley told The Big Issue magazine: “I don’t give a s*** about my cycling career now.

“I’m just detached from it, I don’t want to live off the back of it.

“I live off of being me, and I’m happy in my own skin.”

Sir Bradley briefly attempted to become an elite rower after announcing his retirement from cycling in December 2016.

He has since found success as a pundit for Eurosport and drew rave reviews for his commentary when riding on a motorbike, laughing and joking with riders in this year’s Tour.

Sir Bradley has commentated from the back of a motorbike for Eurosport
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Sir Bradley has commentated from the back of a motorbike for Eurosport

However Sir Bradley, who had a difficult relationship with his estranged father while growing up in Kilburn, northwest London, said he also wants to move into social work.

He said: “When I was offered a TV role I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it.

“It took me a while to find myself, redefine myself, and come back to cycling without an ego.

“So now I can do the TV job, but I’ve also enrolled to do an Open University degree in social work. I want to help people.

“Those horrific things I saw when I was growing up… nothing can shock me now, and I want to use that mental toughness working as a social worker.

“And when people say, ‘Oh, you’re that cyclist’, I’ll say, ‘No, that was a few years ago. I’m a social worker now’.”

Sir Bradley after winning the Tour de France in 2012
Image:
Sir Bradley after winning the Tour de France in 2012

Sir Bradley’s reputation was called into question by some since his retirement.

Hackers from the Russian cyber espionage group “Fancy Bear” revealed details of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) the cyclist was granted ahead of some of his biggest races, including his victorious 2012 Tour de France.

An investigation into the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race for his use was inconclusive.

Sir Bradley called the investigation a “malicious witch-hunt” at the time and his spokesman said all the drugs he used for his asthma were approved by sporting authorities.

His Big Issue interview will appear just a few days after it was announced that Team Wiggins Le Col, the professional development team he formed in 2015, will close its doors at the end of the season.

The team has helped a number of young British riders reach the World Tour.

Sir Bradley was the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2012, with his Tour de France success helping transform the popularity of cycling.

His pose on a throne in front of Hampton Court Palace after his Olympic gold became one of the defining images of the London Games – as were his late-night celebrations.

But the cyclist is clear that is now all behind him.

He said: “It’s nice to be remembered but I can’t keep waltzing in with a rock’n’roll haircut and a suede suit on, drunk.

“I’ve moved on from that person. Everything ends, everything has to end.”

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