Bradley Wiggins is a worthy winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year award: his incredible sporting achievements have been fundamental to the rise and rise of cycling as a participation sport this year.
This photo of Bradley Wiggins is by professional photographer Paul Mitchell. It was taken at the London 2012 Time Trial, which Wiggins went on to win.
A keen cyclist himself, Mitchell cycled from his home in Surrey to see Wiggins going for gold. “I caught the race near Cobham. I was using a compact camera without a motordrive so I knew I only had one chance to get a shot of Wiggins racing past. However I knew he would be last to come through so I practiced panning the camera as the preceding riders passed by. I love this shot – it shows an athlete who is totally committed to winning. It was an amazing event to witness and I was really pleased to come away with this image.”
If Wiggins has inspired you to head down to the shed and dust off your bike, then we have some good news for you: research shows that cycling could help you to live an Olympian lifespan.
Olympic athletes live 2.8 years longer than average, with those who take part in non contact sports such as cycling enjoying the best health.
Meanwhile, the recommended level of physical activity for adults of 150 minutes per week has also been estimated to increase lifespan by up to several years and an active lifestyle is the most important health enhancing habit for older people.
So there’s never been a better time to get pedaling again!
You can read the full report on the BMJ website here