WHEN Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France and then went on to Olympic gold for cycling, it was almost a given that more people would take to their bicycles this summer to emulate their sideburned hero.
So it should come as no surprise that Wiggle, Portsmouth’s global specialist in cycling, swimming and running, should see its best week of summer sales in its 12-year history.
Not only did 80 per cent more people from Great Britain visit Wiggle’s website – clearly hoping to form their own giant Team GB – the level of sales increased by 60 per cent.
In the last month, the company sold enough tyre inner tubes to wrap around the outside of London’s Olympic Stadium 157 times – also selling thousands more water bottles and puncture repair kits than any normal summer.
Wiggle also sold out of official Team GB cycling performance wear.
Sales of Pinarello bikes, as used by Bradley Wiggins to win the Tour de France have also rocketed this summer – with Wiggle selling 400 per cent more than last year.
Martin Talbot, the firm’s marketing director, said: ‘It definitely seems to have inspired everybody, or a great part of the population, into thinking they want to have a piece of this, they want to try it.
‘‘They might now be cycling to work, upgrading their bike or trying to look like their heroes – people seem to have become a lot less self-conscious about Lycra!’
But it’s not just about Bradley Wiggins, and his Team Sky and Team GB cycling colleagues.
Wiggle sells more than just bikes, and has seen the triumph of triathlete brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee boost sales in the sport’s three disciplines of cycling, swimming and running.
‘It’s fantastic,’ said Martin.