Support right from the start: Ben Wiggins' path to becoming a professional cyclist

BMC |  Ben Wiggins' path to becoming a professional cyclist

It was only a matter of time for Ben Wiggins to become a professional. Son of Grand Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, trained by Giles Pidcock, dad of cycling superstar Tom Pidcock, the 18-year-old Wiggins himself decided to join Hagens Berman – Jayco for the 2024 season, where he will be accompanied by another big name in sports: Axel Merckx – son of the famous Eddy Merckx.

Wiggins says it 'probably was not the intention' to have the level of support that he has been having so far during his career. “But I have been lucky enough to have it, and I am very grateful for it.” The new signing who will race the BMC Teammachine SLR01 in 2024 continues: “Having my dad to start with is a blessing in itself, but then to have gained the support of Giles and now Axel as well – among many others along the way – is something I am extremely lucky to be able to have.”

BMC | Ben Wiggins BMC

Wiggins realized that his goal of becoming a professional cyclist became realistic when he won the European title on the track in his first year as a junior. “From there, my confidence grew, and I started getting good results on the road as well.”

In these years, the young talented British rider learned many lessons from the people around him. “The main thing? I think learning what it takes to be a professional cyclist,” Wiggins says. “I have seen my dad putting unwavering commitment into the tasks needed to get to that level he reached. He inspired me.”

Wiggins remembers a six-hour ride on Christmas Day in 2011, the winter before his father won the Tour de France. “He had to miss out on family time that day,” the rider of Hagens Berman – Jayco says. “From that day, I learned that I also had to sacrifice time with my friends and family sometimes to reach my goals in cycling. Nowadays, I know the feelings he must have felt, but it is inspiring knowing that these sacrifices are needed to make it to the top of the sport.”

BMC |  Ben Wiggins BMC Hagens Berman

“The other main thing I learned from my dad is to mentally find myself in a place where I am so focused on racing and performance, especially during time trials and races on the track. He taught me a lot to get into race mode.” 

Wiggins continues: “I think my dad and I are similar in many ways. I was lucky enough to inherit his TT abilities, and also on the track, we race in similar ways. Classics and stage races both suit us. I think he is a much better climber than I am, but that is also something he had to work on a lot over time. Hopefully, I can follow in his footsteps in terms of climbing capabilities, and that will come with time.”

The son of the Tour de France winner grew up watching the sport when BMC as a brand won some of the most iconic races in the world. “I remember Cadel Evans winning the Tour on a BMC. However, the victory that stands out the most for me is Philippe Gilbert winning the World Championships in 2012. The way he won by attacking on the final climb has been inspiring to me big time.”

“Personally, I never had the chance to race a BMC, so I am super excited to be racing on the iconic frames this year. I hope that on the SLR01, I will be able to develop myself as much as I can in all areas. I hope to get good results consistently and perform in the biggest races we race as a team. Ultimately, my goal is to move up to the WorldTour in the future, so if I can make steps towards that goal, then 2024 will already be a successful year for me.”