Wiggo the Mod

by Lorenzo Piccoli


I said to myself I was not going to talk about the Tour de France this year. After all, for the first time in ten years, I did not watch a single stage of the race. Now I realize the geeky political and cultural implications of Bradley Wiggins’ victory are just too interesting to be ignored.

It all came with an article of the Economist on Nationalism and the Tour de France – or why it matters that a Brit won the Tour:

It may go some way among British sports fans to dull the pain of Andy Murray losing Wimbledon despite making it to the final. The comparison is apt. The Tour for the French is beginning to resemble Wimbledon for the British—a home winner looks a long way off. Bernard Hinault last took the yellow jersey for France in 1985.

From there, I moved to all the articles on Wiggins’ personality – or why it matters that Wiggins is a Mod (this is the article to read if you do not know who Bradley Wiggins is, or what a Mod is). Eventually, I realize the very relative importance of this topic, but surely it is a lot of fun to read.

British Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has been variously described as “mod-loving cyclist”, “king of the mods” and the “fastest mod on two wheels”. […] But it’s more than a look. It’s an attitude, Elms argues. A mod is cool and sharp and open to foreign influences – qualities that Bradley Wiggins encapsulates in his life and cycling. “He’s slightly sardonic and rock and roll. But it’s not about rock and roll excess. It’s slightly pared back.” […] If sport replicated life, Bradley Wiggins would have ridden up the Champs Elysees on a shiny Lambretta scooter.

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