The Extraordinary Rise of Bradley Wiggins in 21 photos

Atypique. That’s the word most often used to describe Bradley Wiggins by the French media, meaning atypical, unusual and special. It’s a reference to his character, whether his London sarcasm, the fluent French or his taste for things far beyond the bubble of pro cycling. But his whole career has been unusual, making him perhaps the most unique winner of the Tour de France.

Here’s a look at his cycling career via 21 photos and a video clip.

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From Belarus with love

A UCI official has a giant construction project with plans for Europe’s tallest building that’s in trouble with the city authorities. Months later the UCI awards the world championships to the same city. Is there a link?

No. But decisions like this reveal antiquated governance practices at the UCI and highlight the extensive business empire of one of cycling’s most senior officials. Here’s a look at one example where sport, politics and business intersect.

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Sunday shorts

Don’t worry, Sunday evening’s collection of short pieces is family and workplace safe. But you’ll find two stories where speaking out can land you in trouble, even prison. And if you enjoyed the Tinker, Tailor, Cyclist, Spy piece, there’s an appetiser for an upcoming story.

GP d’Ouverture – La Marseillaise
Samuel Dumoulin of Cofidis won the race in a sprint finish. Wearing full-fingered gloves and a long-sleeved top he beat Marco Marcato who sported a headband to keep his ears warm.

The Etoile de Bessèges stage race starts on Wednesday and even colder gear will be needed. Weather forecasts are predicting a deep freeze for France and snow is expected for most of the country, including the south.

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Questions over the Baugé case

Last Friday was the day of Epiphany. In France it is traditional to take down the Christmas decorations and share a cake called a galette des rois. I don’t know if they were eating any galettes at the French Cycling Federation (FFC) but they were probably taking down their Christmas decorations in haste because their Christmas card prominently featured Grégory Baugé who was stripped of his world championships that day.

Yet the case is an odd one given the 11 month delay and there’s even the possibility of a cover-up.

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Baugé on racism and outsprinting Cavendish

Greg Baugé

L’Equipe has a good interview with Grégory Baugé, the triple world champion on the track. There’s plenty of detail about the riding, the training and hopes for the Olympics in 2012. But there are two things that stand out from my road-biased perspective: the idea of racism in pro cycling and a contest with Mark Cavendish. In covering them I don’t want to diminish the rest of the interview, the bits I’m picking up are not the main subjects of the interview. You can read some of the highlights of the interview in English over at

I had fun in the finale, when you had to ride up to the front of the peloton to do the sprint. I loved to win. I think a road career would have been difficult for me with my skin colour; the scene is not ready for it yet.

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No surprise from Bobridge

Get used to it You can read the news this morning that Jack Bobridge has broken the world 4,000 metre pursuit record with a time of 4.10.534. Pick your own superlatives. KryptoniteThe fastest two times of 4.11.114 and 4.13.353 were set by Chris Boardman using the now banned “superman” position. As a result some said … Read more

Brailsford confused over Commonwealth Games

Which hat is he wearing today? Europeans and some Americans might wonder what the Commonwealth Games are all about: they are a mini-Olympics for the Commonwealth, a group of countries largely based around the old British empire. The latest edition of the games are about to start in Dehli and a row has blown up … Read more

New Bos

A robot in disguise? Cervélo’s Theo Bos won the opening stage of the Vuelta Castille y Leon. Whilst the sprint wasn’t the biggest – Graeme Brown was the only big name rider in top-10 – it’s still a solid result, all the more since the stage to Burgos had a second category climb on the … Read more

Trackside Gossip

– Cervélo Test Team’s Theo Bos did a track test the other day and clocked 10.2s for the 200m. He’d broken the world record with 9.7s in the past so he’s slower these days… but only just. – France’s Grégory Baugé is thinking of swapping the track for … track and field. Not cycling but … Read more

Team Pursuit – a new way? has a piece on British kilometre specialist Jason Queally aiming for selection in the team pursuit. It says the Briton is after a new challenge. He’s 39 and won gold in Sydney. But is this really a new challenge? Instead I think we might be seeing the start of a change in the way … Read more