Bradley Wiggins is undoubtedly one of the most famous and charismatic cyclists in the world and will be leading Team Sky’s Tour de France hopes again in 2012.
The Londoner first made his name on the track and achieved three Olympic Games gold medals and seven World Championship titles before switching his focus to the road in 2009.
That year he equaled the best-ever performance by a British rider with his fourth-placed finish at the Tour de France, and it was that remarkable showing which earned him his flagship role with Team Sky in 2010.
After leading the team to victory on the team time trial at the Tour of Qatar, Wiggins picked up a second-placed finish in the time trial at the Vuelta a Andalucia and finished third overall at the Tour of Murcia before achieving his highlight of the season at the Giro d’Italia.
The race marked Team Sky’s Grand Tour debut and Wiggins got off to the perfect start by winning the opening time trial in Amsterdam which also earned him a spell in the famous pink jersey.
“It’s beautiful to be wearing the maglia rosa,” he proclaimed at the time. “It’s iconic and one of the most special jerseys. To wear it means a lot to me and is a big honour.”
Next up was the Tour de France, and although Wiggins was unable to match his exploits in 2009, he still managed two top-10 stage finishes on his way to 24th place overall.
“The Tour de France didn’t turn out to be what we had hoped,” he said. “And I don’t mind admitting that we made some mistakes along the way, but that’s the only way you learn.”
Wiggins, who also romped to his second consecutive national time trial title in August 2010, is adopting a more traditional approach to his Tour preparations. He will still be looking to hit the ground running when the season gets under way:
“I definitely want to try and get some strong early-season results. There’s a lot of racing to be done before the Tour and I’ll be looking to split my season into two or three clear parts.