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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Watching my son become a cyclist made me realise how abnormal my life had been’: Emotional Bradley Wiggins opens up on the painful secret of his youth after suffering sexual abuse

EXCLUSIVE: 'Watching my son become a cyclist made me realise how abnormal my life had been': Emotional Bradley Wiggins opens up on the painful secret of his youth after suffering sexual abuse

In a small meeting room at the NSPCC’s offices in east London, Sir Bradley Wiggins emerges from a seat in the audience to address staff…

Sunday, Jan 15

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In a small meeting room at the NSPCC’s offices in east London, Sir Bradley Wiggins emerges from a seat in the audience to address staff and media invited to the launch of the charity’s new campaign . Wiggins is proud, he says, to be fronting a project designed to educate adults on how to spot the signs of child abuse and best report them. As a victim himself, he knows the cost of not speaking up.

Amid applause for his brief speech, Wiggins appears a touch sheepish and needs encouragement to fill a vacant seat at the top table, joining a panel Q&A. ‘I feel like I’m at a wedding,’ he says, a sentiment not quite reflected in his modish attire: black suit, V-neck jumper and clean trainers.

For all his self-deprecating quips, smart threads and TV appearances, Wiggins has never really looked comfortable as the focus of attention. Talking to The Mail on Sunday afterwards, he reveals that years spent trying to live up to the persona of ‘rock-star’ cyclist left him with a fragmented sense of self. But if there was an introvert beneath the celebrity swagger, he is not evident here. Instead the Olympic hero and Tour de France winner is frank and engaged, disarmingly so, given his abuse is the subject of discussion. TRENDING

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