Jonathan Vaughters, the team boss of WorldTour outfit EF Education First, has said that Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France victory is “blemished” due to the revelation that the Brit had injections for triamcinolone, a corticosteroid, before his Grand Tour win.
Vaughters made these comments in an interview with The Times, as he promotes his autobiography that details his life, from racing with Lance Armstrong to setting up his own cycling team which now operates under the name EF Education First on the WorldTour circuit.
When Vaughters set up Slipstream Sports, now the tie-dye American team that features talents such as Rigoberto Urán and Tejay van Garderen, Bradley Wiggins was one of their biggest signings as the team stepped up to WorldTour level in 2009, with the 46-year-old describing the Brit as “the most gifted athlete I have ever worked with”.
However, after Wiggins finished fourth at the 2009 Tour, Team Sky wanted the Brit for their launch in 2010. Vaughters has accused Dave Brailsford of “poisoning Brad’s mindset”, with Wiggins then having “very little thought for anyone beyond himself”.
“The situation with Brad was an absolute bully situation, with Dave and all those attorneys,” Vaughters claims. “I felt I got picked up by my pants and thrown in the garbage can. I don’t find that terribly forgivable.”
Vaughters will travel with his American squad to the Tour de France in July, with their team leader Rigoberto Urán will be looking to improve on his 2017 performance, finishing a close second to Chris Froome (Ineos), only 54 seconds down on the four-time champion.
The American goes on to say that to be a successful racer “you have to some chip on your shoulder…they’ve all got something that pushes them over the point of reason” using Urán’s own experiences as an example, “his father was shot on the streets of Medellín when he was 14.”