• Tour de France

Wiggins 'felt no pride' in Tour win

ESPN staff
March 7, 2014
Sir Bradley Wiggins says he has "no skeletons in the closet" © Getty Images

Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed in an interview with talkSPORT he felt no pride in being the first man to bring the Yellow Jersey back to Great Britain with his 2012 Tour de France victory.

Team Sky rider Wiggins won the Tour less than a month after Lance Armstrong was charged with doping in June 2012 by USADA.

Armstrong was eventually stripped of his seven Tour titles and handed a lifetime ban, before later admitting to doping during in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Wiggins, who won gold in the time trial at London 2012 less than two weeks after his Tour victory, told talkSPORT: "A year ago, I didn't feel pride to be the winner of the Tour de France.

"With everything going on with the whole Lance thing breaking, it just felt like there was a lot of anger among a lot of people. And everyone turned to me as the current winner and said: 'What are you going to do about it?'

"I kind of shied away from it all, and didn't really want to speak about it. If anyone piped up and asked what it was like to win the Olympics in London, I'd beam and talk about it with great pride. But the Tour stuff…"

However Wiggins insists watching teammate Chris Froome win the 2013 Tour while he was absent with a knee injury allowed him to let his accomplishment sink in.

"It helped me embrace being a winner of the Tour de France a bit more," said Wiggins. "I have more pride now, and I'm happy to talk about it.

"Before, it was: 'Oh yeah, I suppose I've won it, ain't I? Puts me in the same category as Lance.' That's how I felt."

Wiggins also took aim at those who questioned his statement he was riding clean during the 2012 Tour, and those who continue to believe he may be using performance-enhancing drugs.

"I'd just like to challenge the people asking those questions a little more," he said. "Maybe in a more articulate way than two years ago, when I called them all wankers. I just feel more ready for it now - and more of a responsibility to not shy away from those questions.

"I am proud to be a winner of the Tour de France, with no history and no skeletons in the closet. So I'll challenge people: the real hypocrites of the sport who are asking those questions."

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