Book Review: Bradley Wiggins: My Time
2012 was a landmark sporting year in the UK. In the summer London held the Olympic Games and the country went sporting mad. At the centre of all of this one man stood above all of the other successes as just days before the opening ceremony, he became the first Englishman in history to win the world renowned Tour de France. The 2012 edition of the race was the 99th and only on 4 prior occasions had a Brit even worn the Yellow Jersey for a stage, let alone come close to winning it. Wiggins himself had come 4th (later upgraded to 3rd after Lance Armstrong's results were annulled) in 2009 but poor form and injury had affected him in the intervening years. However, in 2012 everything seemed to move in to place.
After a good winter's training he attacked the year winning both the Paris-Nice and Criterium du Dauphine in the preceding months. However, after his assault had been derailed the previous year by a crash, there was no certainty he would succeed in 2012, despite being one of the favourites. The race started well for Wiggins and his Team Sky teammates and having gained the Yellow jersey on stage 7, he never relinquished it, coming home in Paris. All of a sudden his star was propelled and he played a part in the opening ceremony of the Olympics a few days later. In the Olympic Road race his main role was to try and help teammate Mark Cavendish win Gold but it wasn't to be. But a few days later he helped kick the party off as he roared home in the Olympic Time Trial to win Gold and cap an amazing year. The year was finished by winning the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year, an honour at any time but even more so in 2012 of all years with such a successful Olympics.
This autobiography highlights much of Bradley Wiggins earlier career but with a focus on the year of 2012. I received it as a Christmas present that year and having started, I was unable to put it down. It is an honest account as he grew up with his Mum and Grandparents in North London (his Father who was also a professional cyclist left him when he was just 2 years old). As he himself got in to the sport of cycling and became a British Track Cycling Gold medalist. Wiggins was a member of the core group of cyclists who helped grow cycling to one of the biggest sports in this country to the stage that 7 of 10 track gold medals were won by Brits and we only failed to medal in one event. He had won one Gold in 2004 and two in 2008 but with his main events being dropped from the schedule, he focused more on road racing, becoming the key signing for Team Sky at their start in 2010.
Obviously given the history of drugs in cycling this is an accusation that has in the past been leveled at Wiggins but he too talks about this frankly and honestly as he criticsies those who have fallen down that path. He also discusses how he is at times quite a selfish person, doing what is right for him and his career rather than his wife and family. It is unlikely that there will be such a perfect storm to propel an achievement such as what Wiggins achieved in 2012 again. In 2013 his teammate Chris Froome became the 2nd man to win the Tour de France but this went a lot less noticed.
All in all this was a great book to read and I would really suggest picking it up. I read the hardback edition and to be honest, it was the catalyst to me buying a kindle as I took it away with me and had to lug it around in my bag. If you are a sports fan and/or remember Wiggins winning so well in 2012 then this book is for you.
If like me you are based in the UK please use this link to find this book on Amazon.
Have You Read This Book?
In addition to this book, in 2012 Wiggins was also followed for a documentary that I loved watching. Unfortunately I can't find it in full online but this trailer will give an insight into the documentary.