Bradley Wiggins tour win was "no surprise" for Streatham bike shop owner
7:40am Tuesday 24th July 2012 in News
A bike shop owner and family friend of Bradley Wiggins hugged the triumphant cyclist just moments after he crossed the finish line to become the first British Tour de France champion in Paris.
Maurice Burton, who has owned Der Ver Cycles Shop on Streatham High Road for 25 years, was there yesterday to witness the victory of Wiggins, whom he has known since a baby.
Wiggins, who began track cycling at Herne Vellodrome in 1992, has won three Olympic gold medals, seven world track titles and, now, outright success in the world’s toughest cycle race.
Mr Burton said: “He walked over to where I was. We embraced. It was a great day.”
Mr Burton, who used to be a professional cyclist and raced with Wiggins’s father Gary in Belgium, added the Tour de France win was “no surprise” to him and the victory would be particularly sweet for Wiggins’s mother Linda.
He said: “It’s a wonderful thing for his mother who singlehandedly brought him up.”
Wiggins’s father was an alcoholic who died after being beaten in 2008.
Mr Burton said: “It’s very sad that his character was such. Drink got the better of him.”
But Mr Burton said that now it was important not to look at the past but what Wiggins achieved yesterday.
“He is a great ambassador for the sport. Cycling is coming of age in this country. Before it was a Cinderella sport, but not anymore.”