Cycling crowns a new king

Al Jazeera's Lee Wellings in praise of British cycling sensation Bradley Wiggins


    It's not every day some of the world's best cyclists hurtle down your tiny local street one by one. 

    And it's not every day you get a glimpse of one of greatest sportsmen in the world. 

    We're broadcasting live and sharing the Bradley Wiggins experience with the people in and around Hampton, a sleepy suburb where London becomes Surrey. With over three hundred thousand people lining the streets along the Olympic cycling route it feels like the centre of the world's focus. It's surreal. 

    Imagine what it's like to actually be Bradley Wiggins at the moment. 

    On the Sunday you win the Tour de France, the first British cyclist to achieve the feat. So straight talking and lacking in arrogance is your demeanour that even the French public develop a liking for this 'invader' of their crown jewel. 

    Five days later the world is watching you again, as you ring the bell to start the Olympic Opening Ceremony. 

    Late night. Better take it easy on Saturday then. Or perhaps you will put in a back bending shift unselfishly trying to unsuccessfully help British team mate Mark Cavendish win a medal in the six hour road race. More respect, what a legend. 

    So we get to Wednesday, just 10 days after glory in Paris and this time in the white Team GB jersey, and you complete the perfect sporting summer. 

    Wiggins didn't just win the individual time trial, he owned it. In truth, I wondered if he had enough in the tank? Well he had just about enough to win by 42 seconds from Germany's World Champion Tony Martin. 

    Imagine now being Chris Froome. Second in the Tour de France and then Olympic bronze out on the roads of Surrey. What an achievement. Overshadowed? Certainly. Outstanding? Definitely. Give the man credit. 

    But there can only be one king. Feeding off the devotion of his loyal subjects who lined the streets and roared themselves hoarse, he made his way to Hampton Court to be crowned.  

    On your bike Henry VIII, Bradley's in town. 

    London is Bradley Wiggins' town. He is a proud, complicated man who has fought back from dark times in his life. 

    With his trademark sideburns and cool, comfortable style on the bike he gave everyone a few seconds of his memorable record-breaking summer on his charge to Olympic gold. 

    The frightening thing for his rivals is that he wants to add to his British record tally of seven Olympic medals, and go for more gold in Rio in 2016. 

    It would be hard for the people of Rio to show him more love on the streets than he got in South West London.  

    But the way he's going well nothing's impossible.



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