Appearing in front of the press having maintained his grip on the yellow jersey with another strong performance into Porrentruy, Wiggins was asked by an Associated Press reporter about comments that have been made on Twitter comparing Sky’s Tour performances with US Postal’s in past Tours. "What do you say to the cynics who think that you have to be doped up to win the Tour de France?" Wiggins was asked.
After a pause, Wiggins replied: "They are just f***ing w*****s. I cannot be doing with people like that. It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to anything in their lives. It’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter rather than get off their arses in their own life and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something, and that’s ultimately it. C***s!"
Up to that point Wiggins had looked relaxed as he responded to questions. Asked initially about the possibility that teammate Chris Froome might beat him as he did in last year’s mid-race time trial at the Vuelta, Wiggins acknowledged that this is possible.
"It’s the race of truth and you’ve got to have the legs. The time trial in the Vuelta last year was at a 1000m altitude and it was 37 degrees and I just went off way too fast. Anything is possible tomorrow. I try not to think too negatively and concentrate on the way I’m riding now," he said.
He once again played down the importance of the Tour’s time trials, emphasising that every stage is important. "There’s been so much fuss made about the time trials, but the time trials are irrelevant unless you’ve got through the last seven or eight days," he said.
"Ultimately, the Tour de France is about being good every day and not just being good in the time trials. You don’t win the Tour by solely being good in the time trials. It’s another stage, but they are all important."
Sky boss Dave Brailsford was once again full of praise for his riders, picking out Christian Knees for particular mention. He said he was pleased to get through the Porrentruy stage without any major concerns, describing it as one of the most dangerous on the race because of the heavy and undulating roads.
Asked about the danger presented by RadioShack, who finished with four riders in the front group, Brailsford commented: "If you’ve been working all day on those roads into a headwind with everybody attacking and you’ve got four guys sitting on all day I don’t think that’s… Well, they did it to try to get the team GC obviously and I didn’t see it as too much of a threat really."
Brailsford added that Monday’s time trial will confirm who the strongest riders are and was confident that his leaders will be among them.
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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