Cycling - Tour de France

Wiggins in passionate tirade against doubters

Once again, Bradley Wiggins had a tougher day off the bike than on as the Briton responded with a passionate tirade to questions about his credibility as a Tour de France leader on Wednesday.

 
Wiggins defends again - Cycling - Tour de FranceReuters
 

Wiggins, who last Sunday had rebutted Twitter accusations doubting his performances on the bike, was again forced to answer a doping-related question, just as former champions Lance Armstrong or Alberto Contador have been in their time.

Asked if he understood why he was facing questions about the bane of the sport one day after French rider Remy Di Gregorio was taken into custody amid an investigation into the trafficking of doping substances, Wiggins said his performances had nothing to do with drugs.

"I understand it from certain parts of the media. I don't think I should sit here and justify everything I've done," Wiggins told a news conference after he defended his race lead of one minute 53 seconds over Australian Cadel Evans.

"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."

This year, Wiggins won the Paris-Nice, Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de Romandie stage races to establish himself as a favourite for the Tour de France.

The tirade came after his foul-mouthed rant at those who "hide behind a pseudonym on Twitter" and doubt Team Sky's dominant performances on the Tour.

Wiggins, who is aiming to become the first British rider to win the Tour, said he did not lose his temper last Sunday.

"I didn't lose my cool. I just said what I mean. If I'd lost my cool, the table here would be on the ground," he said.

"It's that pissing all over everything I've done, that's what really gets to me. Everybody on the Tour works hard on what we do. The position I'm in I've work hard for and I deserve every minute.

"I don't have to justify. 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."

Barely pausing for breath, Wiggins, who burst into the stage-racing limelight three years ago when he finished fourth on the Tour, continued:

"What can I do other than that? 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."

 - Reuters
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