Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins says he owes his success to his mother, who ran up debts of £50,000 to help launch his hugely successful cycling career.
And the first Briton to win the Tour de France revealed that the absence of his late father, Gary, for much of his childhood was a key factor in him becoming a professional cyclist.
Wiggins opened up on how his nappies were used for smuggling amphetamines – by his drug-dealing father.
Wiggins is preparing for his attempt to break Alex Dowsett’s hour track record of 52.937 kilometres (32.893 miles) on June 7.
In his father’s absence, the emotional and financial support of his mum proved crucial to Wiggins.
“She was quite a strong woman and I think she just lived for me from that moment on really. She wanted me to pursue my dreams.
“My mum put herself into £50,000 worth of debt to service my sporting career. I look after her now but she is not the sort of woman who wants a lot in return.
“She’s just content and proud that I’ve held a marriage for 12 years and that I’ve got two kids – that I’ve got the fundamental things.”
Wiggins claimed individual pursuit gold, team silver and Madison bronze at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but says he was surprised to find the realities of life did not match his achievement.
“I thought there’d be people banging down the door with cheques for millions of pounds. I was Olympic champion but couldn’t pay the mortgage.
“I had this incredible guilt that I was Olympic champion but couldn’t pay the bills. I got a bit depressed about the whole thing. It did not live up to the impression of what I thought Olympic gold was all going to be about.
“That was August. As soon as my son was born in March, I felt like I had to provide for this person and it brought back the memories of what happened with my own father.”