Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky may still be celebrating his ground breaking victory in the Tour de France but once this and the Olympic victories that are to come are over what will be the impact of this historic year for
We need to put into context what Wiggo has achieved. The Tour is the single biggest annual sporting event in the world. Only the football World cup and the Olympics beat it for spectator numbers and they take place every 4 years. A British cyclist has never won; in fact a British cyclist has never been on the podium! What is even more important is that we had 2 Brits in the winner’s enclosure and all done drug free. The only drugs Team Sky seems to be on are enthusiasm, grit and the Brailsford effect.
This victory has been coming for some time but no-one in this country had believed it would happen. We have had over the years many track cycling successes but never the sustained success we have had since the National Lottery and then Sky put their money behind the sport. Add the money to the intensity, the planning and the sheer brilliance of Brailsford and his coaching team and you have the formidable cycling outfits you see today. Not only in the professional sporting arena but on the track as well. You look forward to the next 3 weeks at the Olympics and you cannot see a single cycling event that we don't have a chance of medalling in. From Cav and Wiggo on the road to Kenny, Pendleton & Hoy (the list is too long to name them all) on the track.
The impact of the success will be far reaching and we need to take advantage while the excitement is where it is. Last year it was reported that cycling number grew by 7%. With success like this there is no reason why it will not grow by double figures. I myself only took the sport up 2 years ago and since then have seen the number commuting to work explode.
As a country we need to embrace the sport. Football for years has hogged the limelight and why? Cycling offers so much more. It provides discipline through the required training, it improves fitness and lifestyle, provides and intense spirit of competition and achievement. Not only this and as the Tour in 2012 has proven it is a spectacle full of intrigue, passion and skill. The fact ITV showed the last 2 days on ITV shows the desire for it to be on TV. Sponsorship and advertisers want to be a part of cycling. If Team sky have done anything this year they have proven that drugs are not a pre-requisite for success and maybe now other teams will follow and start to clean up professional cycling.
At this point I believe it is only right and proper to praise the Sponsors, Sky. Without whom none of this success would be possible. Yes the British track team receive huge funding and quite rightly from
There are few rare occasions in a generation when your fellow countrymen achieve something spectacular. The Football world cup in 1966, the
This is defiantly no isolated victory for team Sky and British cycling. Next stop Olympic gold’s, followed by
Well done Wiggins and Co, the Country solutes you.