Sir Bradley Wiggins has said there’s an underlying reason behind his decision to join in with Channel 4’s reality ski jumping show The Jump: his fear of getting fat.
The eight-time medalling Olympian, who announced his retirement last month, says maintaining his 11st 4lb to 13st weight will be much harder now he’s not training intensively.
Sir Bradley, 36, told the Mirror: “I don’t want to get fat and unfit, I’m really paranoid and conscious of that.
“I just don’t trust myself one bit. I’ve been institutionalised in sport since I was 12, so it’s a big change.
“I don’t want to let it go and then find myself two or three years down the line in a bit of a state.
“I have to do it for my mental health, I have to keep busy and in a routine. I’ve an obsessive nature, what-ever I do, I do to excess, so I’d rather keep good and clean.”
The 36-year-old, who announced his retirement from professional cycling last week, will join 13 other contestants from the world of sport and entertainment for the fourth series of the show, which attracted controversy last year after competitors including former Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington, gymnast Beth Tweddle and the actress Tina Hobley were injured while filming.
The new series of show, featuring gymnast Louis Smith and model Caprice, begins on February 5th.
He added: “I’m not sure if my competitiveness will come out. My goal is just to improve my skiing, I’m not fussed about winning.”
During the series, the contestants will tackle events including skeleton, bobsleigh, ski cross, giant slalom and, of course, ski jumping.
Wiggins said that skiing is "a big passion" of his. "It was a mix of that and the other committed names this year that made me want to sign up.
"Major retiring Olympians such as Sir Steve Redgrave have also trod this path.
"I see this as a sporting challenge and want to go out there and win it.
"Just don't call me a celebrity," he added.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.