Bradley Wiggins has been honoured with a knighthood after staking his place as one of Britain’s greatest-ever sportsmen in a phenomenal year for the cyclist.
Affectionately known as Wiggo, the mod from Kilburn rode to victory in the Olympic road cycling time trial just 10 days after becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France this summer.
Sir Bradley said: “It’s quite something really. I never imagined that I would ever become a knight so it’s an incredible honour but there’s a slight element of disbelief, and it will take a while to sink in.
“It’s not something I’ll use on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have in the trophy cabinet as the ultimate accolade as a sportsman, being knighted by your country for not only the success this year but 12 years now of consistent work and performing – four Olympic Games, seven medals.”
Sir Bradley’s London 2012 success briefly made him the nation’s most decorated Olympian, with four golds, one silver and two bronze medals to his name, before fellow cyclist Sir Chris Hoy overtook him.
Fans, many of whom lined the streets of London wearing fake sideburns – his trademark look – to watch his Olympic victory clamoured for him to be knighted as his achievements piled up.
Sir Bradley was awarded an OBE in the 2005 New Year Honours for services to cycling after he brought home gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Games four months earlier.
The new honour is undoubtedly the icing on the cake in a year that has also seen him crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Sir Bradley added: “There was never any doubt whether I’d accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a sir, and I probably never will.”
Comment: Page 16.