WIGAN-based cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has told he was forced to move his children to a different school after they were subjected to bullying in the wake of his Tour de France win.
Wiggins says his two children, Ben and Isabella, were taunted by fellow pupils accusing the Olympic gold medallist of being a drugs cheat.
“That [Tour win] changed everything,” Wiggins said (pictured above with his children). “I left home pretty much unknown and came home the most famous man in the country for that week.
“It was hard for me and the family. It affected them as well. The Lance Armstrong thing in January... my kids started getting harassed at school. ‘Is your dad on drugs? He won the Tour. Is he the same as Lance Armstrong?’
“Horrendous stuff. Horrible. My son getting bullied at school. I had to move my kids from that school and move them to another school.
“I felt responsible for that and it all added to my unhappiness at the time. But a year on, it feels like a complete contrast. I feel much more comfortable in my own shoes now.”
Wiggins also spoke of his improved relationship with team-mate Chris Froome, which he hopes can be of benefit at this year’s Tour.
Froome won last year’s Tour but failed to make the same impact on the public as Wiggins, who was knighted and was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year after adding his fourth Olympic gold and seventh medal.
“I kind of felt I won the public over, especially the French public, two years ago,” Wiggins said. “It’s like the film Gladiator, you win the public and you win your freedom.
“I kind of won my freedom, whereas the opposite happened with Chris if you like. It would be nice to go back to the Tour and, if anything, just take the pressure off Chris a little bit. Take some of those questions for him.”
and challenge people for him.”