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UK papers give out lucky Wiggins sideburns

British tabloids backing Wiggins with cut-out sideburns

LONDON (AFP) — British tabloids gave out free cut-out sideburns like those sported by Bradley Wiggins on Wednesday to urge readers to back him in the pursuit of the country’s second London Olympics gold.

With Great Britain still yet to take top spot on the podium when the Wednesday paper went to press, The Sun and the Daily Mirror both printed mock-ups of the Tour de France winner’s trademark facial furniture ahead of his time trial race.

“Going for Wiggold” read The Sun, Britain’s best selling newspaper, on its front page, while the playful headline in the rival Mirror read: “Here Wiggo!”

The Sun offered golden-colored sideburns for readers to cut out and wear, while the Mirror opted for a full set of hair and sideburns in realistic brown.

“Every Sun reader can back the 32-year-old’s time trial bid by cutting out and taping on his lucky sideburns, which we’ve made glistening gold,” The Sun read.

Wiggins is a well-known “mod” whose sideburns pay tribute to the 1960s music and fashion movement.

Wiggins starts as favourite for the 44km time trial around London’s Hampton Court Palace after winning both long time trials on the Tour, and a medal of any colour would make him Britain’s most successful Olympian.

The first Briton ever to win the Tour, cycling’s most prestigious race, said his confidence was “sky high” after the host nation finished outside the medals in the road race on Saturday.

British media have started questioning when the team will win its first gold, having notched up a big total of 19 golds at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.