• Wiggo in front of an adoring public for one of his last outings (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
"Training camps at altitude, early starts and late finishes. Cycling on Christmas Day. It was all for this and we've done it.
By
Cycling Central

15 Aug 2016 - 8:29 AM  UPDATED 15 Aug 2016 - 8:38 AM

Eyebrows were raised when Bradley Wiggins announced that, in the twilight of his career, he was heading back to the boards to pursue more Olympic gold. 

He was giving up the large salary that he was on at Team Sky, completing the rigours of years of preparation for an event which his body-type had grown unsuited for and after a career which was already so complete. 

Not many questioned the physical capacity of celebrated Olympian and Tour de France winner but whether he would be motivated to see out the process.

As Wiggins told Sporza after Great Britain's gold in the team pursuit, the return to the velodrome was very much a return home.

“This is justification for stopping on the road and coming back to the track. This is the way I always wanted it to end for me." 

"It’s where it started for me 16 years ago. The road was something I was good at but I never really loved the road. To then come back to the track and a final like this is incredible.

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"I don’t that we’ve realised what we were involved in but it probably made for a great final and a nice way to finish.”

Wiggins’ gold in Rio adds to his haul of eight Olympic medals in total. He won gold in the individual pursuit in Athens in 2004 before backing that up with gold in the same event as well as the team pursuit in Beijing in 2008.

In London, less than a month after winning the Tour de France, he claimed victory in the individual time trial with Rio the final result in an already glittering career.

The British rider revealed that he took heart from retiring Swiss star Fabian Cancellara, who also took gold this Olympics in the time trial.

"The other day, watching Fabian Cancellara win the time trial was inspirational. Everyone had written him off and so to comeback and do that made me think, ‘What a great way to finish your career'. Here we are three days later and it’s a nice feeling.”

Wiggins has pushed back talk of full retirement for years but has drawn a line under his career with his recent announcement of retirement.

As quoted in the Sun newspaper, “So I’ll go home on Monday, see the kids, get out on my bike and then do the Tour of Britain in a couple of weeks. Then, in November, my last race will be the Six Days of Ghent."

Wiggins reiterated that his focus was very much on other aspects of his life now, with his young family to occupy his life in coming years.

“That wasn’t my last race, but it was my last Olympic Games. My kids have never known anything other than me being an Olympic athlete and they need me now. My kids need a proper dad in their lives. My wife needs a proper husband.”

“I don’t have to live with this anymore. It’s gone now. Two years ago, all this press has been building up. I never underestimated it for one minute, I gave up the road, and gave up the big salary and I was just a number again.”