Wiggins’ Knighthood Can’t Compare To Weller Honor

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LONDON, Dec 29, 2012 (AFP) – British cycling star Bradley Wiggins admits
receiving a knighthood in the New Year Honors capped a glorious year, but not
even that honor could compare to being on stage with his pop star hero Paul
Weller.

Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France earlier
this year and then earned his fourth Olympic gold medal a few weeks later.

Earlier this month he was the runaway winner of the BBC Sports Personality
of the Year award and now he has been knighted in recognition of his epic
achievements.

But all those prizes and plaudits will take a back seat when the
32-year-old reflects on his own highlight of 2012.

Wiggins is almost as famous for his love of mod culture as he is for his
exploits on a bike and last week he fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he
joined legendary singer Weller to perform The Jam’s classic hit ‘That’s
Entertainment’ during a charity concert at Hammersmith Apollo.

“For me it’s probably the obvious one, apart from Sports Personality,
playing at Hammersmith Apollo with Paul Weller was incredible,” Wiggins said.

“That topped it for me, and that’s not a joke. It was amazing. Playing a
Jam song as well, I mean how many people get to do that?”

Wiggins has been hailed for his down-to-earth attitude in an era of
ego-driven sporting divas and he believes the award sends a good message in
the age of celebrity culture.

“It’s quite something really,” he said. “There was never any doubt whether
I’d accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a Sir, and
I probably never will.

“I don’t like profiting from status so it’s more for my family. It’s nice
for my parents and grandparents to be able to say I’m a knight, and for my
kids in the future.

“To be deemed good enough to have a knighthood by the establishment is
quite nice really, because I’ve continued to be myself through most of the
fame.

“It’s a nice advertisement for our culture I think because so much of it is
based on being something you’re not with celebrity, so it’s reassuring in a
way.”

Meanwhile, British cycling chief Dave Brailsford, who masterminded Wiggins’
Tour de France triumph with Team Sky, paid tribute to all his riders after he
was also given a knighthood.

The 48-year-old has received the honor at the end of a year in which he
led Great Britain to eight cycling gold medals for a second successive
Olympics and Team Sky to an historic one-two finish in the Tour de France.

“It is a bit surreal really. It is quite humbling and it really is
something to try to get my head around,” Brailsford said.

“I’m very lucky and aware that the sport of cycling has grown and that we
have had great success because it is a team effort over a long, long period of
time.

“But I guess it does feel a little bit uncomfortable given the hard work
that everyone puts in that there is an individual recognition rather than a
group recognition.”

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