In the News: Wiggins is proud of 2012 Tour win and ready to challenge critics

The Sky rider says he wants to challenge those who question his accomplishments in a more diplomatic way

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Wiggins: ‘No skeletons in the closet’ — Talk Sport

A year after his 2012 Tour de France victory, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) admits he was not proud of his win that brought the yellow jersey to Great Britain for the first time in history.

“A year ago, I didn’t feel pride to be the winner of the Tour de France,” Wiggins said in an interview with Talk Sport. “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?’”

Wiggins, however, said he is now over that sentiment. Less than two weeks after winning the Tour, he won the time trial at the London Olympics.

Watching teammate Chris Froome win the 2013 Tour while he was at home with a knee injury, Wiggins said, helped him understand what he was able to accomplish.

“It helped me embrace being a winner of the Tour de France a bit more,” said Wiggins, who has reflected on his career the past 12 months. “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 was also critical of those who questioned his statement that he rode — and is still riding — clean.

“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. Even [journalist and former pro] Paul Kimmage, to an extent. Someone summed it up for me: ‘Paul Kimmage: he took drugs, and he was still shit.’ And he has the cheek to challenge us on a daily basis. So it’s a funny old thing.”

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