Nibali hits out at Wiggins after Tour frustration
Vincenzo Nibali, Tour de France 2012
Vincenzo Nibali vented his frustration with Brad Wiggins today following his attack in the Tour de France's 10th stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
"If he wants to be a great champion," Nibali said, "he has to have a little bit of respect for his rivals."
Nibali spoke to a small group of journalists while sitting on the steps of Liquigas-Cannondale's team bus. He talked about his solo attack in the 194.5km stage from Mâcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and Wiggins.
Nibali used his descending skills and shot free as Wiggins' group sped into the valley and towards the final Col du Richemond climb. He said, "The idea was to throw Sky on the back foot and isolate Wiggins."
Sky brought Nibali under control with only two kilometres left before the top of the Richemond's pass. It continued to lead the group to the line, where it arrived 32 seconds behind Van den Broeck. According to Nibali, Wiggins taunted him at the finish. He turned, looked him in the face and waved as if to remind Nibali of his presence.
"If he wants to be a great champion he has to have a little bit of respect for his rivals, because sometimes, to look at someone like that in the face is offensive," he explained.
"I'm not going to say cuss-words, but you need to have respect for your rivals. Today, as you know, they are going strongly, but the tables turn for everyone.
"I'm talking about respect amongst the cyclists. Riders have never kicked or punched each other as they do in football. There's always just been a lot of respect for rivals. So, for me, there's this respect. To turn and look a rival in the face, as he did, that's not very great in my opinion."
Nibali will have another chance to face Wiggins and Sky tomorrow when the race encounters its second of three summit finishes. He currently sits fourth overall, 16 seconds behind Sky's Chris Froome, but he aims for a place on the podium in Paris.
"It's different tomorrow, a mountaintop finish, but it's not a very hard climb. It's a short stage, though. The short stages sometimes are able to shake the GC even more," Nibali said.
"You need to see what the GC guys are going to do, because if they are going to only attack solo, against Sky it's hard. I've got courage, you guys. It's the others that truly need to show that they have courage."
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Tour de France 2012: Stage reports
Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour
Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT
Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks
Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage
Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage
Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades
Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes
Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne
Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory
Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt
Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second
Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs
Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles
Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials
CW's Tour de France podcasts
Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs
Comment: Cavendish the climber
Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries
Stage 10 by Graham Watson
Stage nine by Graham Watson
Stage eight by Graham Watson
Stage seven by Graham Watson
Stage six by Graham Watson
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Andy Jones
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones
Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2012: Team presentation
Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce
Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage
Stage 10 live coverage
Stage nine live coverage
Stage six live coverage
Stage five live coverage
Stage four live coverage
Stage three live coverage
Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule
Tour de France 2012: Related links
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Brief history of the Tour de France
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever