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


  • The_Kaner

    Petit Filou! Petit Lip….greetin’ aboot a ‘look’ from Wiggins…
    Nibali showed no respect when he commented on Wiggin’s abilities… pot/kettle..
    I wonder what people must make of Tommy Voeckler’s face pulling antics then…
    ‘ I have no respect for Tommy Voeckler…vot ees all zees face puuling..’
    haha…time to grow up ..and as most have echoed…let the legs do the talking…

  • Carn Soaks

    Hey, did anyone notice Jump the Shark get a lift from his team car right infront ofthe camera in stage 10? He was away infront of the peleton pushing away up the hill and had a “SaxoBank??” rider on his tail. He asked for a “Drink” and whilst holding onto the bottle got a push away from the other rider. Supremely unfair and a bit of a rought if you ask me. He broke the spirit of the fella on his wheel by making a 10 metre gap with the cars assistance plus getting a speed upage from 20 to 30kms.
    How much effort does it take a rider on his own to achieve that sort of outcome? DESRVES A FINE & IME PENALTY. Sure riders off the back who may have had a nature break or crash/flat might have the blind eye turned, but not when you are out trying to attack the leaders like he was… Play Fair NIBALI or GARNGET

  • Paul

    The great thing about the British rider in the peleton (Millar, Wiggins and Cav primarily) is that they speak their mind. They are open and honest and they don’t care about ruffling feathers. They are openly anti-doping, Sky made a great stance on this when they came into being.

    The European riders traditionally don’t like this approach. It took a long time for the likes of Millar to the respect where he’s now seen as one of the peleton’s leaders. Same for Wiggins. Because he is outspoken and frank, some of the traditionalists in the peleton won’t like it.

    I love it.

    Great to hear a sportsman speak from the heart and not reel off a load of PR guff like footballers do.

    And quite right he is to Nibali in his place. If you can say it in the press but you can’t say it to his face then it’s you who is showing disrespect. Have some respect for the yellow jersey, will you Nibali.

  • Organised Confusion

    Nibali needs to ‘put up’ or shut up. He has spent the last 10 days telling the entire Peloton how he is not ‘impressed’ by Wiggins nor Sky. How has he therefore shown any respect for the yellow jersey?. Bloody hypocrite.

    If he wants to gain some credibility himself he needs to take the race to the race leaders, and you need to have a little more in your armoury than an acknowledged ability to descend.

    If you’re not ‘ impressed’ Nibali, show us why we should be ‘impressed’ with you?. The weight of Italian expectation appears to be taking it’s toll.

  • Jon

    It didn’t take long for the Wiggo haters to crawl our from under their rocks. Nibbles I can understand, but cycling fans… Disappointing, but not surprising. Wiggo will never play the media game so you’ll have to get used to his rough edges. Sorry.

  • Phil

    Nibali’s rant has all the hallmarks of a frustrated man. He cannot drop Wiggins on the climbs or beat him in time trials. His only weapon on the road is the descents. I would say Evans is in the same position also. Nibali is using mind games to try and unsettle Sky and Wiggins. It only works if you have the tools to do the job. Nibali does not.

    I love the way that Nibali refers to Cobo beating Froome and Wiggins in the Vuelta last year. Nibali was in that race too. He ought to keep his mouth shut. It’s becoming embarrassing for him.

    As for Wiggins not being a gracious leader of the race. i think he has been very respectful to Evans, his team mates and the race. The swearing the other day was uncalled for, but that just Bradley being himself. I hope he goes on and wins it.

  • Max

    Nibali should have a few words with team-mate Sagan. His antics at the end of stages don’t show much respect for the other riders.

  • Andy

    Sorry Louise, but that’s utter tosh! Wiggo has repeatedly talked of his respect for other competitors & frequently praised his team-mates – without5 any prompting, I might add.
    Wiggins is not miserable, nor is he “a boorish ass” – he is frequently witty & open with the press, but at the same time, I don’t see why he should have to take the sort of nonsense off the press that he does for being good at his job. None of us would be terribly happy if we were at the top of our profession & people started saying we must have cheated to get there.

    As for Nibbles – I think that’s a case of him reaping the whirlwind – he’s getting the “respect” his comments have earned.

  • David j Messenger

    Nibali, as others have said look to yourself first you showed no respect to Wiggins or Evans with your comments, sounds like you are a poor sportsman… and a bad loser, when your tactics failed !

  • S. Huffer

    I like Nibali and really enjoyed his attack today, but he really needs to nut up. Bradley was clearly giving him a cheeky reminder of his disparaging comments a few days ago. Maybe it’s another example of the Saxon/Latin divide? I can’t see many Northern Europeans getting so upset about such a piffling matter.

  • Chris Leyman-Nicholls

    @Louise Edwards. Disrespectful to who? He was having a rant at those who accuse him of doping when no such evidence exists. That is just the sort of situation for which swearing was invented for!

  • Nigel

    Brad has been appropriately respectful towards his rivals when interviewed, including Nibali. I suspect that Nibali was misquoted a little originally and that he was simply trying to express the view that Brad didn’t scare him – an entirely reasonable stance for a GC contender and one that he’s living up to. He has however made a couple of commments bigging up Chris Froome that were, in my opinion, intended to try to stir up rivalry in the Team Sky camp and it’s possible that Brad decided to play a little mind-game of his own in exchange..!

    On the outburst at the press conference, I don’t condone it but Brad himself in one interview said he didn’t regret expressing his views “except maybe the [bad] language” – like many other clean riders he’s had to put up with dopers dragging the sport’s name trhough the mud and now, as he’s reaping the benefit of the clean-up of the sport he has to put up with anonymous twitter users making the same sort of allegations about him – not surprising he doesn’t like it..!

    As for the arrogance, he’s actually a very down to earth guy – I’ve been in a group at Herne Hill and he’s rocked up with his son on his shoulders to say “Hi” to the father of a rider he raced against when younger and he was very unassuming and willing to answer any question posed. He admits he doesn’t find the mdeia relations aspect of his job easy and, like Cadel Evans before him, a slightly prickly persona at times is probably part of his defence.

  • Louise Edwards

    Although it sounds anti-British, I agree with Brian. I think that Wiggins is arrogant, and not a true team player. He is quick to state his own strengths, yet slow to acknowledge those of his domestiques or competitors. He is not a gracious winner. And as for his swearing outburst at the press conference – unprofessional and disrespectful.

  • John

    RE: scott taylor. Nibali won a Grand Tour in 2010.

  • Samuel G

    actually scott taylor Nibali won the vuelta in 2010, it was generally agreed to be one of the hardest Vueltas ever and Nibali one with great panache. I am enjoying his presence in the race, the tittle-tattle is a sideshow that can easily be ignored

  • smitty

    What a princess. Upset because anpther competitor made a face?! Worse things can happen you wuss. Grow a pair and ride on. And BTW, in euro soccer that so called punching and kicking is tantamount to a little girls slapping fight. Take a lesson from Jens and man up.

  • Brian

    To this observer Wiggins is the most miserable maillot jaune since Rasmussen, and on top of that we’re now seeing glimpses of spitefulness a la Armstrong. I’d love to see this boorish ass taken down a few rungs, though I doubt it will happen in this Tour.

  • JD

    Niblai should remember the old maxim that people show you respect when you’re earned it.

  • dai bananas brother

    Dai’s missus says the only one who is impresssing her (apart that is from cuddly little Tommy Voeckler) – in that he is quietly getting on with it -, is van den Broeck. Put in a pretty coool move today and she backed him at 80/1 with the each-way option down at the bookies yesterday. All that swearing! Ofnadwy duw duw.

  • Dan

    Did Nibali even say ‘he doesn’t impress me’?

    Whatever suits your bias I guess?

    impress impressionner, imprimer, forcer, confisquer, faire une impression sur, contraindre
    wow impressionner, emballer
    expose exposer, révéler, mettre à nu, mettre au jour, abandonner, impressionner
    upset bouleverser, déranger, renverser, contrarier, fâcher, impressionner
    overawe intimider, impressionner
    distress inquiéter, désoler, bouleverser, déranger, être en détresse, impressionner
    prepossess prévenir, préoccuper, influencer, impressionner

  • Don Danberry

    Sounds like the talk of someone who knows when he’s beaten by a better rider…

  • scott taylor

    Nibali telling Wiggo how to be a great champion? He would earn more respect if he had won something notable, 2nd in the Giro is the best he’s achieved in a grand tour.
    Maybe he needs to count the amount of gold medals hanging round Wiggo’s neck and check his palmares before slinging mud. His comments will do nothing more than fire up Wiggo and Team Sky.
    The actions of a desperate man – He’s worried about someone looking him in the face? If he had the legs they would do the talking!

  • Kevin Blackburn

    Yeah – right – Nibali: ‘I don’t rate Wiggins’ 2-days ago – that’s respect…NOT!!

  • Andy

    All mouth no lycra…

  • Nod

    Given Wiggins comments about Evans he’s proven he has respect for those that have earned it.

  • Panjandrum

    Has no-one told Nibbles it’s disrespectful to your rivals to talk about what goes on in the peloton?

  • Tim B

    What goes around comes around. NIbali did say that he was not impressed by Wiggins. So where was the respect towards Wiggins when he said that?

  • SirVelo

    What goes around, comes around Nibbles! Nibali showed scant respect for Wiggo in his appraisal of the British rider. “Wiggins doesn’t impress me” and “he’s not good at descending” are two opinions which come to mind. Take, a long hard look in the mirror first fella before you go slagging others off for lack of respect!

  • Devonport

    Nibali launches an attack on a downhill descent and fails. And at his disappointment he has a go at Wiggins because he looked at him. Sounds like Nibali should show some respect rather than mouthing off, especially for the maillot jaune. I hope he fails to even make the podium so he looks like an even bigger fool.

  • Paul G

    ‘Tour frustration’ .. sounds rather apt in this case.

  • Austin

    Is it respectful to other riders to keep sniping in the press? Nibali was the first to show disrespect when he claimed Wiggins did not impress him – if you give it out, be prepared to take it.