Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has admitted that he struggled to enjoy his time in the yellow jersey during the Tour de France victory and said he was relieved when the race was over.
The Briton was never outside the top two overall for the duration of the Tour and wore the yellow jersey for two weeks, facing a daily press conference after each stage. He reacted angrily to questions about the climate of suspicion on Twitter after stage 8 to Porrentruy, and he later complained about the negativity surrounding his tenure in yellow after stage 17 to Peyragudes.
“I didn’t have fun on the Tour,” Wiggins said, according to La Dernière Heure. “At the Tour everything is so stressful. Everybody was only talking about Twitter, doping and suspicion. After the Tour, I felt relieved and I showed that when I crossed the finish line at the end of the time trial. But for the rest of the time, I didn’t enjoy myself at the Tour.”
According to Sporza, Wiggins said that he had taken greater pleasure from his victory in the Olympic Games time trial on home roads in London, ten days after the Tour finished.
“The Tour is so stressful,” he said. “Everyone is only interested in Twitter or other doping suspicions. The Tour was mentally an ordeal.
"But the Olympics is more about the sport itself. There is no doping or other nonsense talk. If you win, everyone is happy for you."
Wiggins was speaking in Wetteren, Belgium on Monday, where he took victory in a derny criterium ahead of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Sharp). He is set to line up at the Tour of Britain next week before travelling to the world championships in Valkenburg, where he will ride the road race but forgo the time trial.
“I’m still Olympic champion in that discipline for the next four years,” Wiggins pointed out. “No, if I started the time trial, I’d want to do it in the best condition possible and that’s not the case at the moment. I’m not that fresh any more. In the road race, I’ll put myself at the service of the team.”
When asked about the furore surrounding Lance Armstrong’s recent decision not to contest the US Anti-doping Agency’s charges of doping and conspiracy, Het Laatste Nieuws reported that Wiggins said, “It’s not good for cycling.”