Wiggins defends himself from questions, says he’s worked hard to get where he is
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wiggins defends himself from questions, says he’s worked hard to get where he is

by Shane Stokes at 8:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
“I have incredible pedigree since I was in my teens”

Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins has responded to questions about his rise to the top of world cycling, saying that his background in the sport makes his progress logical and that he deserved to reap the rewards now.

On Sunday the Briton had been asked how he would respond to people on Twitter who likened his dominant Sky Procycling team to the US Postal Service outfit, and who also questioned whether he was riding clean. He responded angrily, dismissing those people as ‘f*cking w*nkers,’ ‘bone idle’ and ‘c*nts’.

“It’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter and write that sort of shit, rather than get off their arses in their own lives and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something.”

As his response didn’t actually address Sky’s promise when starting in 2010 to prove the Tour could be won clean, the subject was raised again yesterday. He was asked if he could understand why the yellow jersey could face questions, particularly after Cofidis rider Remy di Gregorio was arrested this week.

“I understand it from certain parts of the media. I don't think I should sit here and justify everything I've done,” Wiggins answered in the post-race press conference. “I'm not some shit rider who comes from nowhere. I've been three times pursuit Olympic champion. Do you imagine what kind of engine you need to be Olympic champion?

“I was six times world champion, fourth in the Tour de France, third in the Vuelta last year. It's not like I come from nowhere. I have an incredible pedigree since I was in my teens.”

Wiggins showed little flair as a Grand Tour rider early on, concentrating more on track racing in the first part of his career. His first Grand Tour was the 2005 Giro and he was 123rd there, then he placed 124th in the 2006 Tour, 134th in the 2008 Giro, 71st in the Italian race in 2009 and fourth in that year’s Tour de France. While that upward progress stopped in 2010 with 40th in the Giro and 24th in the Tour, he placed third in last year’s Vuelta after crashing out of the Tour de France.

He has credited losing weight as a big part of his development, and said that he was upset at questions about that improvement. “It's that pissing all over everything I've done, that's what really gets to me. Everybody on the Tour works hard at what we do. The position I'm in, I've worked hard for it and I deserve every minute.”

"I don't have to justify [things]. I've been tested by the UCI God know how many times this year. Blood tests in the mornings, in this race, on the Dauphine.”

He spoke passionately about anti-doping back in 2007, as can be heard here. He blasted known dopers and said that he wanted to win a time trial in the race in a credible manner.

Some, including the journalist Paul Kimmage have pointed out that he has become more guarded about his statements since then, and that Sky Procycling hadn't show the full transparency they had promised to prove a clean rider can win the Tour. He also said that Sky had employed a doctor previously connected to a period of doping with the Rabobank team.

Wiggins insisted yesterday that he felt he'd done enough, and that his past showed he was a quality rider. He added that he didn’t want to be held up as a role model. “What can I do other than that [UCI testing]? I don't know really. You tell me. I'm only human, I'm a kid from London happened to be good at riding a bike, I make mistakes, I swear, I'm not a role model.”


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