Wiggins short-changed with golden glow

Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:08pm EDT
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By Tom Pilcher

LONDON (Reuters) - Some fans sported fake Bradley Wiggins sideburns while roaring on the Briton to gold in the Olympic time trial on Wednesday, while one could have been wearing the Tour de France champion's shorts.

Such is Wiggins's popularity in his homeland after he became the first Briton to win the Tour that his shorts were stolen on Tuesday while he was using the shower and sauna at the Foxhills hotel in Surrey.

Tired and a little distant after being crowned Britain's most-decorated Olympian earlier in the day when he carved around the 44km course in a little less than 51 minutes, Wiggins told a news conference the fan was welcome to his sweaty gear.

"It's only a bit of cycling kit. But you don't expect pilferers to do that in a five-star spa," he told reporters at the Olympic Park after he arrived without his gold medal, much to the dismay of photographers.

Earlier, a statement from the hotel said: "Upon returning back to the locker room it seems that cycling fever has well and truly hit the Surrey club as the Official Team GB training lycra were nowhere to be seen.

"It seems an over-zealous fan has scored a fantastic London 2012 souvenir."

Wiggins thought the smell of his kit would probably force the fan to sell it.

"Sweaty cycling kit is probably on eBay tonight," he joked, vodka and tonic nearby to help him see out a gruelling day.   Continued...

Britain's Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France, rides in the men's cycling road race at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 28, 2012. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton