Everyone wants to say a Soundbite

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It seems like the professional athletes in cycling are always trying to get media attention by saying something extreme to garner it.    What happened to modesty and just letting your accomplishments speak for themselves?

Case in point is an article today on Bradley Wiggins’ hour record attempt.  Bradley, Mr. Modesty himself, says he could break the hour record today and plans to ride a distance that will stand for the next 20 years.  WTF is that all about?

His exact quote is – “I’ve got 55km in my head and I think it’s realistic. And I think if I do it, it will stand for 20 years.”

He is pretty much saying that he is the best athlete in the sport currently, and the best of the next generation too, right?   Man, he thinks a lot of himself.  Maybe he forgot that Chris Boardman, a fellow Brit, rode 56.375 km back in 1996, using the superman position.  He averaged 57.7 km/h the last 6 km, which is nearly 36 mph.  ( I guess that was nearly 20 years ago too.)

I’ve never been too big on “Sir Bradley”.  I don’t understand how he could win the Olympics a couple times at 185 pounds, then win the Tour de France at 150, now currently be racing  at 172.  That is just too weird for me.  Plus, he has a potty mouth and acts out too often for my liking.

Anyway, I assume he’ll smash the hour record next month.  He probably knows his wattage output and what that translates into for an hour on the track.  I really don’t care much.

I wish these guys would just shut up and ride their bikes.  Such boldness, or more like arrogance in this case, makes me think that they know something that we all don’t.  I’ve never known if I was going to be great on any particular day.  I hoped to be, but sometimes I just didn’t show up.  I think that is the way of athletics.  When you have such a supreme confidence, enough to outright just state it, then it sounds screwy.   And in today’s world, screwy in sports doesn’t interest me so much.


21 thoughts on “Everyone wants to say a Soundbite

  1. Jeff Werner

    Wiggo is one of the few professional athletes—cycling or otherwise—who does offer soundbites. Not saying I’m a fan of Wiggo, but on the whole isn’t it true that 99% of all athlete interviews come away with merely controlled banalities and vague, repetitive references with little to no insight, opinion or specifics? I’d guess it’s either because of their team’s media coaching, public opinion fear, and / or the fact that many athletes are simply boring or, at the least, boring when interviewed by the media?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I’m not a fan of Stanley Wiggins, but look at what guys like Marty Nothstein did with their bodies in moving on to different disciplines of the sport. It’s far from unprecedented. I’m not saying this is proof he isn’t cheating, or that he is cheating, or anything, but if you want to transform your body, it isn’t all that hard if you have the discipline to do it. I’m speaking as someone who has ranged from 162 pounds in college to 230 pounds while off the bike for a few years. I got down from 200 to 172 for my wedding in about 9 months due to sheer vanity, shunning sweets, and judicious training. Anything is possible, including being a great cyclist and a douchenozzle at the same time. God knows I’ve done that myself with far less talent than Stanley Wiggins.

  3. Jay Bluntingdale from Tuscon

    How heavy do you think that camera was ? He seemed agile in the motion of saving it from hitting the ground. Imagine him setting it down, switching up his stance and bam, knocking Wiggins clean off the saddle with a quick jab, no with an open hand slap!

  4. mm1

    Something lost in translation here I think. Wiggins is smarter and funnier than you think, certainly confident but not boorish and arrogant. He’s often quite self deprecating and is adept at mocking himself and journalists when he’s being interviewed. Typical smart, cocky working class Londoner.

  5. channel_zero

    No, “anything” is not possible.

    We all have physical limits to how low our weight can go. Sir Brad seem to have uncovered new ways to lose weight as an endurance athlete and then lost them, never to be found again.

    Yes, it makes perfect sense. His boastfulness makes perfect sense as long as the UCI will protect his record by not changing the rules. Changing the spec for the bike and position is the primary reason why the record can be broken.

  6. El Jabón

    How is this arrogant? He was asked a series of questions and asked them honestly.
    He would be the last person to say he was a better cyclist.
    I find him EXTREMELY modest.

  7. Rich W.

    God forbid that anyone in this sport has some personality. Wiggins has shown to be pretty adept at peaking for a certain day, which is pretty essential for success in track (of which he has had quite a bit). Steve–comparing yourself to Wiggo in this regard a pretty ridiculous. You never know how you are going to feel on any given day because of your scatter-brained approach to training.

  8. Zach

    Well, he’s probably right.

    Also, I’ve always liked the guy. He actually loves the sport for what it is: grown men riding around on bikes. He knows that he’s lucky to be where he is.

    I can’t begrudge the guy for having opinions, either. It’s better than the old, coached, “Well, I did the best I could do” soundbites that you hear in every single sport.

  9. Jeff

    I agree with you on Steve’s scatter-brained old school approach to training compared to Joe Friel’s approach for instance. I wonder if Steve has ever tried a Joe Friel type structure including nutrition also? Isn’t that how a “Pro” is supposed to be anyway?

  10. donkybhoy

    “grown men” ?

    Acting like babies and throwing bikes like toys out of pram and anyone who questions them critically is a “bone idle w@nker and a c*nt”…….

    No not acting like a grown man, acting like spoiled idiot. Wiggins is often heard saying he hates the media, yet the p-rick is constantly in the media!

  11. former pro

    Have you raced at Steve’s level? I didn’t get my first coach and structured training program until I was on a pro team. It was horrible. It took all the fun out of riding and racing. Some people don’t respond well to structured training plans

  12. BB

    Calling bullshit on you, man. In the future at least try to make some real sense.

  13. Jacque Meihauf

    Bradley Wiggins has never been afraid to speak his mind and that’s a good thing for everyone. Gives us all something to talk about and to read about. He does not boast about his abilities, but he is very confident and rightly so. He has after all, won World Championships on the road and the track, Olympic Championships on the road and the track, National Championships on the road and the track, The Tour de France, the Tour of California and so on and so forth. He has won nearly everything he has set out to do and he even gives everyone a heads up before he attempts it. That’s not being a braggart. It’s telling the truth.

    He has gained and lost weight to suit his goals. It’s not impossible, and I know this because I have done it myself. Boardman should not be mentioned in the same conversation as Bradley Wiggins because there is no comparison between the two.

    Like him or not, Bradley Wiggins is one of, if not the absolute best all around cyclist of all time. Tony Martin is the only guy I could see possibly beating Wiggo in The Hour.


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