Gold for Team GB's Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins, who has just won Olympic gold in cycling’s time trial, trained at the Herne Hill velodrome as a young man.
Wiggins, who began track cycling at Herne Vellodrome in 1992, has now won four Olympic gold medals, seven world track titles and outright success in the world’s toughest cycle race after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour De France.
But today’s victory in front of a home crowd will rank as one of his greatest.
The Tour de France winner passed the line in 50 minutes 39 seconds for the 49km course - 42 seconds quicker than Germany's world champion Tony Martin, and 1:08 better than British team-mate Chris Froome - the man who did so much to help Wiggins win in France – who finished third.
Lara Thornton, spokeswoman at Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, said: “It’s pretty spectacular. We are all very proud.
“Some of the kids who ride there are getting inspired by him.”
Ms Thornton said one of the nine-year-olds said he wanted to achieve as much as Bradley Wiggins.
She added they had talked with British Cycling to invite Mr Wiggins to the velodrome later this year. She said: “We are trying to get him back down.
Ms Thornton said his success was helping to revive the velodrome by bringing the international spotlight there.
She said: “We knew there would be this chance. Over the last couple of weeks we have been absolutely flooded.”
Maurice Burton, who has owned a bike shop in Streatham for 25 years, hugged the cyclist just moments after he crossed the finish line to become the first British Tour de France champion in Paris last month.
At the time, Mr Burton, who he has known since a baby, 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 added: “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.”