Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins announces retirement from professional cycling

The British cyclist, who also won five Olympic gold medals, announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon

Bradley Wiggins

Image: David Davies / PA Wire/PA Images

2012 Tour de France winner and five-time Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from professional cycling, saying his achievements in the saddle have helped him fulfil a childhood dream.

In a statement released on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon, the British cyclist paid homage coaches he had worked with over the course of his career and thanked "the support and love from the public through thick and thin".

He said: "I have been lucky enough to live a dream and fulfil my childhood aspiration of making a living and a career out of the sport I fell in love with at the age of 12.

"I've met my idols and ridden with and alongside the best for 20 years. I have worked with the world’s best coaches and managers who I will always be grateful to for their support.

"What will stick with me forever is the support and love from the public through thick and thin, all as a result of riding a pushbike for a living. 2012 blew my mind and was a gas. Cycling has given me everything and I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful wife Cath and our amazing kids.

"2016 is the end of the road for this chapter, onwards and upwards, "feet on the ground, head in the clouds" kids from Kilburn don't win Olympic Golds and Tour de Frances'! They do now."

Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France in 2012 and received a knighthood the following year as a result of his achievements.

Over the course of his career, the 36-year-old won eight world titles on the track and road. He has picked up a silver and two bronzes to add to his eight Olympic golds, becoming the most decorated British Olympian of all time. He competed in five successive Olympic Games, stretching from Sydney in 2000 to Rio in 2016.