Furious Wiggins blasts Twitter over Tour de France drug slurs
British rider turns the air blue after questions are raised about Team Sky's performance
BRITISH cyclist Bradley Wiggins may be wearing yellow but he turned the air blue on Sunday with an angry tirade at a journalist who suggested that his achievements in the Tour de France could be down to doping.
Wiggins took the overall lead in the race on Saturday after his Team Sky outfit utterly dominated the 199km stage, but their powerful performance drew unwelcome comparisons with Lance Armstrong's US Postal team, which has become mired in drugs allegations.
When the claim was put to him on Sunday night after Wiggins retained the yellow jersey, he responded in emphatic fashion. Asked what he thought about people spreading rumours he said: "I say they're just f*****g wankers. I cannot be doing with people like that.
"It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can't ever imagine applying themselves to do anything in their lives. It's easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter and write that sort of shit, rather than get off their arses in their own lives and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something.
"And that's ultimately it. C***s."
Wiggins then stood up and left the press conference. The main reaction among the media was shock. "The outburst was out of character for Wiggins, who is usually genial under interrogation," noted The Guardian. "And it prompted a burst of applause from some of the journalists present, who felt the question was out of order."
Some went even further and noted their approval in print. Brendan Gallagher of The Daily Telegraph wrote: "It was wonderful to behold Wiggins' blazing indignation and anger when somebody - a nobody - tried to invalidate his entire sporting career with what he saw as a clever curve ball. To see that ball smashed back over the Grandstand was heart-warming in the extreme.
"So much so that you wonder – and frankly worry – why some other sportsmen don't react with such anger and verbal violence when such vague but wounding accusations are thrown their way."
He added that that there has been a "whispering campaign" online and in some French and Spanish media thanks to Team Sky's domination. That scrutiny even prompted Sky to give the media a presentation outlining Wiggins's training methods at special camps in Tenerife earlier this year.
Wiggins is hoping to extend his 10-second lead over second place Cadel Evans during today's time trial.