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ICONS ARE BETTER #40: BRADLEY WIGGINS

I need to reveal that I love Bradley Wiggins. And I love cycling. And I’m British. Now we’ve got that out of the way, Sir Bradley is the epitome of an icon for me. Why? He’s what I believe an icon should be (and I’d want to be if I was one). He’s unique, he’s outspoken, he’s brave, he’s human and he never fears revealing what makes him tick. But more than anything else – he has the ability to capture the imagination of pretty much everyone, whether they like cycling or not.

His acceptance speech at the Sports Personality of the Year awards in 2012 was a masterclass of iconic behaviour. He turned up in a velvet double breasted suit. He flirted with Sue Barker. He was humble, funny, warm and human in his acceptance speech, but no-one was left in any doubt that the man is a born winner.

If you need any further convincing you only have to look at the relationship the media and public have with Chris Froome (who’s done what Sir Wiggo did twice over) to appreciate Bradley’s powers. When he won the Tour in 2012 the French cheered him on from start to finish, not spat in his face and called him ‘Dopeur’. When Bradley attempted to beat the world hour record, Sky were the exclusive broadcaster (and his recent bosses), but he decided to start his record attempt ahead of schedule and Sky Sports were on a commercial break. Why? Because he felt it was the right time, and who’s going to argue?

To put the icing on the cherry on the cream on the cake Sir Wiggins has now started his own cycling team and what did he choose as the logo for his team? The RAF roundel. The boy from Kilburn’s a bloody genius.

Rick Hirst – @rickhirst26