Bradley Wiggins says he feels no sympathy for Lance Armstrong after he confessed to doping – and stated he does not believe the American raced clean upon his ill-fated comeback.

Wiggins finished fourth in the 2009 Tour, one place behind Armstrong who prevented him from achieving what would have been the first podium finish by a Briton in the race.

Having put 29 seconds into the American on stage 15 into Verbier at the end of the second week, he lost 22 seconds to Armstrong six days later on Mont Ventoux. His difference in strength between the two racing days, said Wiggins, is why he believes the Texan is lying when he claims he didn’t dope during his comeback.

“That was the thing that upset me the most about 2009 and 2010. I thought you lying bastard. I can still remember going toe-to-toe with him, watching him and his body language. The man I saw at the top of Verbier in 2009 to the man I saw on the top of Ventoux two weeks later, it wasn’t the same bike rider. Watch the videos and see the way the guy was riding. I just don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth anymore,” said Wiggins.

Speaking to journalists in Majorca during the Team Sky Media Day, Wiggins admitted to being a fan of the American as he was growing up. And, after saying that initially he had no plans to watch the broadcast, the 2012 Tour de France winner eventually sat down and watched it with his son Ben.

“I was very determined not to watch it. I was a fan of Lance; I remember watching (him win) the Worlds in 1993. I was 13 then. Then he came back and won the Tour de France in 1999 when I was 19 years of age, I was on the track programme and that was so inspirational at the time, seeing what he had come from in those pictures with cancer,” he said.





Wiggins and Armstrong during the 2010 Tour de France

“Part of me didn’t want to watch it, the fan in me didn’t really want that perception of him to be broken as an amazing athlete. But I watched it with my seven-year-old son, and those initial first questions – the yes/no answers – watching him suddenly cave in after all these years of lying so convincingly… there was a lot of anger, a lot of sadness… I was slightly emotional as well if I’m honest. It was difficult to watch really. My wife couldn’t watch it, she walked out the room.

“It’s heartbreaking for the sport, but then the anger kicks in and you start thinking “you f*****g a******e” or whatever feelings most people had when watching it. I had to explain to my son what it’s all about, he’s won the same race as his dad has won. But by the end of the hour-and-a-half, I had the best feeling in the world.

“When he started welling up about his 13-year-old son asking him what it’s all about – I never have to have that conversation with my own son. His father’s won the Tour clean; there’s this element of being smug about the whole thing to be honest. Then I got a ‘you deserve everything you get’ kind of thing. By the end, I was feeling no sympathy for him behind all the welling up and the tears.”

Related links

Lance Armstrong ‘continued to lie’ in Oprah interview

The Lance Armstrong confession: Part two

Lance Armstrong opens up to Oprah: Part one

Oprah Winfrey mesmerised and riveted by Armstrong interview

US government set to join Armstrong whistleblower case

Lance Armstrong confesses to doping

Sir Bradley Wiggins: Rider profile

  • Pete Nagurski

    Wiggins criticizing Armstrong for doping…..That’s rich.

  • Graeme

    Joe K: Once doping tests get beyond a certain number does it really matter whether it is 236 or 600?!! The fact is if tests are anywhere near reliable cheats should be caught fairly soon,not after 15 years and hundreds of ‘negative’ tests!
    As for Bradley I like to think that he`s clean and I sincerely HOPE he is….because if in years to come it`s proved that he wasn`t he will be the biggest hypocrite on the planet.

  • adam

    Yeah, the number of times tested is a great example of the power of will and the importance of the press. Keep repeating, and as Joe says, increasing, the number often enough and everyone will assume it’s the truth. This sort of thing happens so much. Ignore the truth and dictate the way you want the story to go. If you’re a big enough personality, or carry enough media weight, the truth can quickly be forgotten about….

  • R & R

    Wiggins is a lying tosser! Yeah, he never doped while with Mapie?! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight! Wiggins you’re a lying stain!

  • Joe K

    @Phil Waters, it was 236 tests, not 600.
    See #1 here: http://www.sportsscientists.com/2012/08/the-armstrong-fallout-thoughts-and.html

    “First, there is no way he was tested 500 times. DimSpace has compiled a record of all the possible tests Armstrong may have been subjected to, with over-estimates, and it comes to 236. So there’s more than a little hype in that number that started at 400, then hit 500, and just like that fish your uncle caught on his summer vacation in 1997 grew in size with every story-telling, ended up around the 600 mark.”

  • william d heidenreich

    I think athletes in ALL sports dope, cycling just has more stringent rules and testing. I am not excusing “doping” in any sense of the word it is cheating. However I do say they all do it, tell me football players don’t dope? or baseball players….they do! Just seems the damn cyclist get caught the most. If all sports had the type of testing (urine after each event and at home testing) they would be caught more often and take some of the attention off cycling.

  • jeff g

    I have no confidence at all in any of the top cyclists claims to never having doped
    I was an Armstrong fan and based on the fact that the margins he won by were not massive and that his average speed was not out far higher than his other competitors either no one doped or all doped
    Their is no fool proof test for the various doping yet and until that time I dont believe that Wiggins is a superhuman clean cyclist

  • Phil Walters

    My interest in Armstrong sniveling his way through a damage limitation exercise with Oprah is nil. What needs investigation is how did he manage to elude drug testers around 600 times, was it the failure of the testing method or with the collusion of the testers?

  • barry

    All the riders involved in the LA scandal all said they finshed doping in 2005, they cannot admit using them after this date as the ‘statute if limitaions’ is still in force and they could go to jail !!!

  • WigglyToes

    That’s ok, I don’t believe Wiggins on his 2012 results.
    I would like to, but until there are reliable tests, or the authorities become proactive (think raids on Team Buses or Hotels on the day before extreme stages) there will be many riders who dope. and if many are doping, and doping gives a big advantage, how can the winner be clean?

  • Robert

    It is good to see that Wiggins has got his memory back regarding the events of 2009/10, given that in a recent interview on Sky, on being asked had he ever raced against Armstrong he said, “Well, that’s a myth. I never actually raced against Lance Armstrong, in my whole reign really. I raced once against him in the Criterium International in 2004 and never in the Tour de France. Er, so that was the only time really.” Anyhow, if Wiggo knew from his experience of racing against him that Armstrong was doping in 2009 (and by 2009 there was also a decades worth of information in the public arena pointing to the fact that Armstrong was a doper), why did Wiggins pay ‘an eloquent tribute’ to Armstrong in 2010, saying “I love him…I think he’s great. He’s transformed the sport in so many ways. Every person in cycling has benefitted from Lance Armstrong, perhaps not financially but in some sense. Even his strongest critics have benefitted from him.” (The Observer, Sunday 25 July 2010.) Why did he let it be known as recently as March 2012 that he saw Armstrong as being someone worthy of taking advice from saying, “…Paris-Nice was a stepping stone, no disrespect for Paris-Nice. But I must continue that progression to July now. Lance Armstrong warned me recently not to burn too many matches for July. It’s certainly a long trail.” (The Guardian, Sunday 11 March 2012.) Perhaps speaking out against Armstrong would have taken more balls than Wiggo had (although he had no qualms about criticising people like Vinokourov in public) but he surely could have simply chosen to say nothing? Wiggins might claim that Armstrong lied ‘convincingly’, but the truth was always plain to see to anyone with even half a brain. Who is really talking here, Wiggo or Sky’s PR team, having briefed him for ‘the Team Sky Media Day’? A cynical response? Maybe, but given the recent history of cycling only a fool would take what any rider says at face value.

  • chris wilcox

    its a shame this is not great for cycling at all i always thought the best high was riding a bike i dont get was it worth the money never to ride a tt again no way i would rather be poor and have the tt rush thanks .