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Fri Apr 25 10:13:37 SAST 2014

Hopeful for closure on Wiggins' father's mysterious death

Sapa-AFP | 24 July, 2012 08:210 Comments
Le Tour de France 2012 - Stage Twenty
Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and SKY Procycling drinks champagne and celebrates after receiving the maillot jaune and winning the general classificication after the twentieth and final stage of the 2012 Tour de France, from Rambouillet to the Champs-Elysees on July 22, 2012 in Paris, France
Image by: Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

The aunt of Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins says she hopes the publicity surrounding his victory will spur fresh information about the mystery death of his Australian father in 2008.

Wiggins’ father Gary was a professional track cyclist for Australia in the 1970s and 1980s, moving to Britain, where he met Bradley’s English mother.

  But he abandoned them and moved back to Australia, where he earned a reputation as a hard drinker.

  He died four years ago aged 55 after being found unconscious in a street in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney with head injuries after being thrown out of a party.

  Homicide detectives investigated, but a coroner delivered an open finding, saying Gary died after being assaulted but it was unclear whether the head injury that killed him happened during the assault.

  Gary’s Australian sister, Glenda Hughes, who lives in Victoria state, told reporters she had not given up finding a definitive answer to what happened.

  “I’m hoping that all this publicity might just stir something up in somebody,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.

  “I’m hoping that what Bradley is doing will stir something in someone to come forward and tell us what happened.”  Detective Sergeant Nicky Hardy, of Hunter Valley police, said the investigation into the death had been suspended.

  “All avenues were investigated at the time,” she said.

  Wiggins’ win at the Tour de France on Sunday has been hailed as one of Britain’s greatest sporting achievements and the 32-year-old is now targeting gold at the London Olympics.

  Asked during this year’s race if he thought his father would appreciate seeing his exploits if he could, Wiggins replied: “I don’t know really. Depends if he was sober... I’ve put that one to bed.” 

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