Vincenzo Nibali vented his frustration with Brad Wiggins today following his attack in the Tour de France’s 10th stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.

“If he wants to be a great champion,” Nibali said, “he has to have a little bit of respect for his rivals.”

Nibali spoke to a small group of journalists while sitting on the steps of Liquigas-Cannondale’s team bus. He talked about his solo attack in the 194.5km stage from Mâcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and Wiggins.

Nibali used his descending skills and shot free as Wiggins’ group sped into the valley and towards the final Col du Richemond climb. He said, “The idea was to throw Sky on the back foot and isolate Wiggins.”

Sky brought Nibali under control with only two kilometres left before the top of the Richemond’s pass. It continued to lead the group to the line, where it arrived 32 seconds behind Van den Broeck. According to Nibali, Wiggins taunted him at the finish. He turned, looked him in the face and waved as if to remind Nibali of his presence.

“If he wants to be a great champion he has to have a little bit of respect for his rivals, because sometimes, to look at someone like that in the face is offensive,” he explained.

“I’m not going to say cuss-words, but you need to have respect for your rivals. Today, as you know, they are going strongly, but the tables turn for everyone.

“I’m talking about respect amongst the cyclists. Riders have never kicked or punched each other as they do in football. There’s always just been a lot of respect for rivals. So, for me, there’s this respect. To turn and look a rival in the face, as he did, that’s not very great in my opinion.”

Nibali will have another chance to face Wiggins and Sky tomorrow when the race encounters its second of three summit finishes. He currently sits fourth overall, 16 seconds behind Sky’s Chris Froome, but he aims for a place on the podium in Paris.

“It’s different tomorrow, a mountaintop finish, but it’s not a very hard climb. It’s a short stage, though. The short stages sometimes are able to shake the GC even more,” Nibali said.

“You need to see what the GC guys are going to do, because if they are going to only attack solo, against Sky it’s hard. I’ve got courage, you guys. It’s the others that truly need to show that they have courage.”

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Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials

CW’s Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule
ITV4 live schedule
British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

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Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever