Wiggins brings illustrious career to an end

Updated: 

Five-time Olympic gold medallist and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from professional cycling, in a statement published on his team's Facebook page.

The 36-year-old had been expected to retire after the Olympics in Rio, where he was part of Great Britain's successful team pursuit squad.

However, Wiggins hinted he could continue his career after winning the Ghent Six Day race alongside Mark Cavendish in November and he was duly named in British Cycling's track endurance squad for 2016-17 at the beginning of this month.

On Wednesday, though, Wiggins confirmed he had raced for the final time.

A statement on the Wiggins team Facebook page read: "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."

Wiggins highlighted 2012 - the year he followed up his Tour success by claiming time-trial gold for Britain on home soil at the London Olympics - as a particularly special 12 months in his career.

"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," he added.

"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."

Wiggins' statement concluded: "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."

In addition to his Olympic and Tour successes, Wiggins won eight world titles on the road and track, and also holds the UCI [International Cycling Union] world record for the longest distance cycled in one hour on a bicycle.