Wiggins Blames Passion for Angry Outburst
“I’m not saying sorry about yesterday. I said what I said because it’s who I am. It’s passion,” he told French Television after winning the ninth stage in Besancon to strengthen his overall lead in the Tour.
I’m not going to change. It is my passion for cycling. I love this sport, I have been a cycling fan since I was a kid. It’s passion and I think it’s good for athletes to be passionate rather than just machines,” he added.
After the previous stage in Porrentruy, the Briton angrily rebutted Twitter accusations of doping, saying “bone idleness” was behind the view that a cyclist cannot win the Tour without taking drugs.
Cycling has long battled a major doping problem, with a raft of top riders failing drugs tests and seven-times Tour champion Lance Armstrong being charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency last month. Armstrong has denied the charges.
After his comments, Wiggins received the support of a vast majority of riders and team managers, among them Armstrong’s Belgian mentor Johan Bruyneel, who wrote in his Twitter account: “Loved the response of @bradwiggins to his critics at the press conf. Get used to it, mate. It’s windy at the top!”
(Reporting by Gilles Le Roc’h; Editing By Alison Wildey)