My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Tour de France failure made Wiggins learn a lesson

Category: Cycling

Bradley Wiggins' season wasn't the best and his Tour de France was a disappointment. Next season will hopefully become better. He says he has started to accept why he performed so poorly at the Tour.

"Something happened after the Tour that put it into perspective. All of a sudden I stopped wallowing in self-pity," Wiggins told the Guardian.

"I ended up in Hampstead for two weeks after the Tour, visiting a hospital every day, before my granddad died. But he was more than my granddad. He was like my father. He brought me up when [my father] Garry left," he said.

"It made me realise there are many more important things than how I felt on the Tour – but it was also confusing. I'm not the most emotional person and I found it difficult to come to terms with his death. I find it hard to express grief. The way I tried to do it was by throwing myself into cycling – which meant [my wife] Cath didn't get me back for even longer."

At stage 14 of the Tour de France, Wigging lost much time to the other overall Tour contenders. Before that he had been pretty invisible, but had tried to hide and hoped nobody would see him.

After this stage, he decided to leave the race. He blamed poor form. He showed the press that he was a human being, and at that time he was a vulnerable boy.

"I just don't have the form. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm trying my hardest and just battling on, rather than give up. It's as simple as that. I just haven’t got it like last year, it's as simple as that. I don't know why. I just feel consistently mediocre. Not brilliant, not shit, just mediocre. Just sort of plateau," he said at the time.

It doesn't matter who you are. Sometimes it doesn't go to plan. Things go wrong. And you must accept it. Sometimes crying in front of TV-cameras is better than showing no emotions.

When things go as planned, you think it was easy, but surely it took hard work to get there. It's easy to forget when you find yourself in poor form, then all you think is "it was so simple".

Bradley Wiggins has started to think about the 2011 Tour de France and it appears he has learned something about himself this year. Something that he can bring with him in future races.

"Widening the focus will help. I remember coming back from the national road race in 2009 and, a week before the Tour, we stopped at a service station. I had a pizza and a couple of beers. This year I wouldn't have a little glass of wine in case it ruined my Tour. But a more relaxed Brad, after a glass of wine, would've had a much better Tour. When you look back it seems so simple and you think: 'What a dick!' I've learned my lesson."