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



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