Blazin' Saddles

Sir Bradley Wiggins reveals his children were bullied over cycling story

Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed that he was forced to take his children out of school and move them to another due to a big cycling story that led to them being bullied.

Wiggins had to relocate his kids after Lance Armstrong's admission that he doped during all seven of his Tour de France wins last January.

The British cycling legend revealed that his two children, Ben and Isabella, were repeatedly asked by friends whether their father had used drugs like Armstrong and described what it was like for them.

"They were harassed and bullied," Wiggins admitted to the Daily Telegraph.

"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?’ My son getting bullied at school. I had to move my kids from that school and move them to another school.

"Horrendous stuff. Horrible. I felt responsible for that and it all added to my unhappiness at the time.

"But like I say a year on and it feels like a complete contrast. I feel much more comfortable in my own shoes now."

The 33-year-old said that he now felt "far more comfortable" within himself now after the initial struggles with coming to terms with becoming the first Briton to win cycling’s biggest race before scooping his fourth Olympic gold at London 2012.

Wiggins also said that he wanted to address the “horrible atmosphere” that surrounded Team Sky at the Tour last July when Froome’s riding aroused suspicions of doping.

"I kind of felt I won the public over, especially the French public, two years ago,” Wiggins said. “Part of that was because I spoke French. And I had a laugh with them. 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."

He also conceded that his relationship with Froome has not always been the best, but that they have now sought to mend their friendship following a team-bonding session in Majorca in December.

"It was the first time we really just sat down in a room and talked, which we hadn’t since the Tour of Oman last year,” he said.

"I think that was a lesson for us all for this year, just spending more time together. Then things don’t get lost... you’re not reading about someone through the newspapers.

"We’re actually looking forward to racing together. It’s nice when it’s like that. I want to do the team proud and do myself proud."