LONDON, England (AFP) — Bradley Wiggins said he is still coming to terms with the reaction to his historic Tour de France victory after receiving applause from Queen Elizabeth II as well as a number of celebrities.
Wiggins claimed Britain’s first Tour victory in Paris last Sunday, prompting a surge of national pride and calls for the Englishman to receive a knighthood. Wiggins quickly turned his attention towards helping British teammate Mark Cavendish add Olympic gold to the world title he won in Copenhagen last year at the men’s road race on Saturday.
Having spent nearly a week soaking up applause for his feat, he is glad he can focus on the challenge ahead.
“With the focus of the Olympics, it’s been a good excuse to get back down to what you do best,” Wiggins said. “I never realized or imagined it would be this big, coming back from the Tour.”
Wiggins, in light-hearted comments to reporters on Thursday, revealed he was as pleased with his letter from the Queen as he was with direct Twitter messages from Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler.
His love of music — as well as his appreciation of ‘Mod’ culture — is well documented.
“My wife kept going on because she was getting ecstatic that the Queen had sent us a letter,” Wiggins said.
“I kept saying, ‘Fuck the Queen — Johnny Marr’s sent me a message on Twitter! And Robbie Fowler — I had a message from God,” he joked.