Bradley Wiggins took aim at “the messiah reborn” Dave Brailsford, Mark Cavendish’s “very little hands”, and said Chris Froome “hates me” during an expletive-laden interview in front of an audience in Manchester on Monday night.
Speaking at An evening with Bradley Wiggins at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, conducted by ITV cycling presenter Matt Barbet, the former Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist was candid about his feelings towards some of his former colleagues.
“He’s like the messiah reborn, with a halo around his head,” Wiggins said of Brailsford, his principal at Team Sky, as reported by Cyclist. “I can’t describe him without swearing. Cav [Mark Cavendish] summed him up when he said, ‘If you walked in on him and your wife in bed, he’d make you think it was your idea’.”
Wiggins, who was talking at the beginning of a UK Tour, was particularly scathing of Cavendish, the former Team Sky sprinter who moved to Team Dimension Data in 2016, the year Wiggins retired for racing.
“We didn’t speak to each other for 18 months [after that],” said Wiggins. “He wears a £300,000 watch and rides for a team that donates 10 bicycles a day to Africa. I said to him, ‘Why don’t you just sell your watch? Then you could buy Africa.’
Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France (Getty)
“He’s got very little hands, like Jeremy Beadle [the TV presenter who had Poland syndrome]. Can you imagine changing partners in the madison with Jeremy Beadle?” Of his long-time team-mate and rival Froome, Wiggins added: “’We don’t like each other, so what? He hates me, but he’s a great athlete who will go down as one of the greats of our sport.”
He also hit out at the media, telling any journalists lurking in the audience to “f*** off” and defending his recently published book, Icons, from criticism after he named Lance Armstrong as one of his most important inspirations.