Bradley Wiggins defended his Tour de France lead today on the mountain stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and then his response to a question about doping cynics.

“I don’t feel like I should have to sit here and justify everything I have done to the world,” Wiggins said in a press conference today.

“I’m not some s**t rider who has just came from nowhere. I’ve been three times Olympic champion on the track. People have to realise what kind of engine you need to win an Olympic gold medal as an individual pursuiter.”

Wiggins responded to a journalist who asked about his response to a doping question four days ago when the race finished in Porrentruy, Switzerland. He gave a strong response, coloured with profanity, to those who write in Twitter and other social media outlets to compare his Sky team with Lance Armstrong’s former US Postal/Discovery Channel team. Several of Armstrong’s former team-mates are linked with doping and the US Anti-Doping Agency charged Armstrong with doping in the last month.

He was also asked why his Sky team told journalists they could not question him about French cyclist, Rémy Di Gregorio ahead of yesterday’s rest day press conference.

French police arrested Di Gregorio yesterday in connection with a doping investigation. His Cofidis team have pulled him from the Tour and temporarily suspended him. The journalist pointed out that Wiggins used to race for Cofidis, but more importantly has some reason to speak for the peloton since he leads the Tour de France.

Wiggins’ response today lacked profanity and went on for longer, around 2-45 minutes. At the end, he looked at the translator and asked, “Did you get all that?”

His response:
“I understand it from certain parts of the media, but I don’t feel like I should have to sit here and justify everything I have done to the world. I’m not some s**t rider who has just came from nowhere. I’ve been three times Olympic champion on the track. People have to realise what kind of engine you need to win an Olympic gold medal as an individual pursuiter. I’ve been six times world champion, fourth in the Tour de France, third in the Vuelta last year. It’s not like I’ve just come from nowhere. I’ve got an incredible pedigree behind me, junior world champion since I was 18 and an incredible rise through the ranks.

“I didn’t lose my cool, I just said what I think. It’s completely different. If I’d lost my cool, this table would’ve been on the floor down there. That’s the difference. I just don’t feel like I have to sit here and justify to everyone.

“To me, it’s them p**sing all over everything I’ve done, by just saying ‘Oh yes, he’s cheating’ or whatever. That’s what really gets to me. Everyone in their individual jobs works hard at what they do. Everyone on this Tour has got a certain job to do and they work hard on it. That’s no different to the riders and the position I’m in now. Yes, I’m in the yellow jersey and I’m inspiring maybe kids to take up cycling, this, that and the other.

“But ultimately I’ve worked hard to be in this position and I deserve every minute of what I’ve been through this last week or so, especially after sitting at home last year and watching it on the telly. There’s one reason why I’m in this position and that’s because I’ve worked hard and I shouldn’t have to justify all that other stuff which we spoke about the other day to certain parts of the world.

“I’m tested by the UCI God knows how many times a year, God knows how many times on this race and the Dauphine. Blood tested in the morning. What more can I do? Other than that? I don’t know. I’d love to know. I’m only human at the end of the day. I’m not this robot. I’m just a kid from London who happened to be good at cycling, made it here.

“I make mistakes in my life, I swear, I’m not this fantastic role model that everyone wants me to be. I am good at riding my bike and performing on my bike. Other than that, sitting up here, answering all these questions every day, trying to be articulate about it. I don’t know what else I can do, other than that.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

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Wiggins taking nothing for granted in ‘dream scenario’

Sky keeping Tour focus on Wiggins

Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France

Daniel Martin courts King of the Mountains jersey

Wiggins’ special yellow Tour de France skinsuit

Tony Martin abandons Tour de France

Wiggins proud of Tour time trial stage win

Wiggins lashes out after doping accusations

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

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever


  • Mike Mace

    Mr. Wiggins must be congratulated on what he said even though he should not have sworn.
    I amazed the morons who have twatted, no, not a spelling mistake, have enough intelligence to type.
    They can not be cycling fans.
    FLY TEAM SKY. What brilliant team riding the WHOLE team are doing. I like Cav. a lot more than I did.

  • Wayne

    Not a s#*t rider but most certainly a S#*T ATTITUDE!!!

  • Bryan Clarke

    Simon, I would add to “you are CLEAN, that you DO NOT DOPE. I detest riders who dope and managers and doctors who assist in the process, which has caused our sport so much damage”.

    I agree It shouldn’t be difficult, but following those in the past, who could never bring themselves to make such a clear statement. It would be a major and refreshing step forward. It remains a major problem for team SKY. We have a cleaner sport, why are riders and teams not very happy to acknowledge the current situation ? We really can’t expect the UCI to lead the charge for an clean sport !

    For the record, I believe Wiggo and SKY are clean, but that is simply not enough for many in view of recent past experiences.

  • Simon E

    “I’m tested by the UCI God knows how many times a year, God knows how many times on this race and the Dauphine. Blood tested in the morning. What more can I do? Other than that? I don’t know.”

    Brad, you could say in your press conferences that you are CLEAN. That you DO NOT DOPE. Is that so difficult nowadays?

  • SJH

    It doesn’t really matter what Bradley says, there will always be people who don’t believe in the wearer of the yellow jersey. What I don’t understand is why these people even bother following cycling if they are so jaded. Brad and the Sky riders are as clean as they come, just enjoy it. Good luck to Bradley!

  • Colnago dave

    Why do people not stop trying to compare him with Armstrong, Brad is his own man with strong anti – doping views. As he states his record is fantastic and I doubt if anyone in the peleton can match the scope of his achievements.

    Let us not forget that Armstrong was an incredible athelete, whether doped or not it was his courage and determination to beat cancer that gave him an extra edge when it came to suffering on the bike and no I am not an Armstrong fan but if he had doped to win the Tour consider that most of his leading contenders had also doped and doped or not he beat them which surely proves he was superior

    I just wish the gutter press would go after athletics, footballers , weight lifters etc with the same resolve.

    I just wonder what the press swould do if access to all theriders was prohibited till long after the stage was finished as you name me a sport where immediately after suffering on the bike for the race duration and perhaps having a mechanical or crashing and requiring medical attention does the press get immediate attention.

    Imagine Alex Ferguson reaction if the press rushed onto the pitch every time Rooney was injured or tried to interview Rooney whilst being stretchered off.

  • Vin Cox

    I’m so much happier listening to Wiggo curse on doping than hearing certain ex-dopers spout pseudo-intellectual and hypocritical nonsense on the subject.

  • Thomas

    Wiggins has always spoken very strongly about anti doping! did you not follow the tour when his cofidis team was booted out, he was raging about it! and he’s publicly not a fan of riders such as Millar et al… He rides for a team with a strong (and very public) anti doping ethos so I personally think the comments saying he doesn’t say enough are unfounded! He shouldn’t have to go on about it like a broken record.

    I’ve never been a particular fan of him but I think its refreshing to see someone in the public eye thats not just churning out the same old PR durge, makes the sport more exciting.

  • Mark H

    Absolutely agree with Bryan. Wiggins should have directed his tirade at doping. Sky and Wiggins are collectively guilty of seriously mismanaging their anti-doping message.

  • John

    I don’t think he should be wasting his energy with this sort of stuff. Sky management should just be telling him to answer questions quickly and to the point without swearing. There is no requirement in a press conference to answer every question. No commetn is a common answer and should be respected. The press have got under his skin and he is starting to look mental.

  • S. Huffer

    Bryan is quite correct: like Armstrong, the responses are often rousing, but make no direct statement to the effect of, ‘I haven’t taken illegal performance-enhancing substances’. There are some good legitimate reasons not to directly address the matter, and some not so good.

    For my own part, I don’t think Bradley is doping; his progression is fairly standard so far, with no radical spikes (beyond the unexpected third in the 2009 tour), and the advantages he has gained in this Tour are from time-trialling, consolidated by well-supported climbing; again, nothing too remarkable.

    I have, however, felt the same about every outstanding rider in the last 25 years (bar Floyd Landis). The only thing you can do, as a fan of cycling, is wear your heart on your sleeve, be in awe of the feats of these superb athletes and try to be as surprised and dismayed as possible when they fail a dope test.

  • Samuel G

    i agree with bryan. wiggins vociferously condemned the twitter trolls. he did not directly condem riders that dope. i personally think it would draw a line under the f****** w*****s affair if he did at some point during the race

  • Dscaper

    So, just because he doesn’t say what people want him to say, it makes him a poorer person?

    At the end of the day, Wiggins is responsible to only 1 person – himself. He has said on numerous occasions what he feels on the subject. You have to ask in all this – what the hell are the UCI doing to help bring cycling out of this repetitive nonsense that gets recycled at this time of year, every year. If you want a clear message from someone about the world of cycling and drugs, I suggest you go ask the UCI for a statement.

    He even said “I’m not this fantastic role model that everyone wants me to be.”. People really need to stop acting holier-than-thou, and get a grip on reality.

    Honestly, I’m surprised the cycling press haven’t asked for the re-introduction of ducking stools.

  • oj todd

    Bryan, are you not aware of Wiggins’ expetive’s in a press conference two days ago? he’s a fairly strong anti-doping advocate so your comment is a bit out-of-place

  • Don Danberry

    Bryan – didn’t you hear him the other day?? How much stronger can he get?!

    His blood might be clean, but his mouth certainly isn’t…

  • bryan clarke

    Wiggins should be advised to condem dopng in cycling in the strongest possible sense. His failure so far in the Tour to do so will leave him open to a ‘Landis’ type attitude. Wiggo is clean, and he needs to express his views on the subject – the quicker the better.