Sir Bradley Marc Wiggins, born in Ghent, Belgium, 35 years ago, is a British road and track racing cyclist, and one of today’s most impressive champions. His trophy case is full of Olympic golds and world titles; he is the master of the top international races, from the Tour de France to the Giro d’Italia. In track events, he has won three Olympic golds for pursuit events, one in 2004 at the Athens Games and two in 2008 in Beijing, as well as six world titles; in road events, he won the time trial title at the London Olympics in 2012 and the world championships in 2014, as well as the Tour de France in 2012. He turned professional in 2001. In short, over the last 15 years, Bradley has won just about everything. He recently said he wanted to withdraw from road events in order to concentrate on track competitions, where his drive to win is as strong as ever.
In fact, on 7 June 2015, at the Lee Valley Velopark in London, the Baronet conquered the new Hour Record: 54,526 km after 218 laps on track. The former, established only 37 days earlier, belonged to countryman Alex Dowsett (52,937 km).
In his interviews, as well as cycling “Wiggo” likes to talk about his other interests: music, guitars (he owns a number of rare instruments including a Gibson 345 from 1960) and scooters, above all the Vespa, and his predilection for vintage two-wheelers.
Bradley enjoys being photographed astride the Italian scooter for glossy magazines (like Esquire), in his unmistakably British style. He says that his collection includes a Vespa PX 125 from 1979. When he was a child, he remembers, on Saturday nights in London he would watch groups of young people riding around on their impeccable two-tone scooters. These were the Mods, members of the “Modernist” subculture. The movement, which grew up in London in the 1950s and reached its peak in the 1960s, is consecrated in the film “Quadrophenia” with Sting, and is currently enjoying a resurgence; the “new Mod style” is often associated with Wiggins. As a child, Bradley says he was attracted by a feeling he perceived among Vespa riders: “the sense of belonging to something”. Very true. That sensitive boy (who would later become a world champion) had caught the essence of the Vespa, an evergreen for almost 70 years with the magical ability to bring together in friendship generation after generation of young people from all continents. Not something to be sneezed at.