• Cycling

Wiggins: Armstrong a 'lying bastard'

ESPN staff
January 24, 2013 « Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena | Chartbeat test »

Bradley Wiggins thought Lance Armstrong was a "lying bastard" when he told Oprah Winfrey he had not cheated during the 2009 and 2010 Tour de France and that he had no sympathy for the disgraced cyclist who was once his hero.

Wiggins finished fourth in the 2009 Tour, one place behind Armstrong on his return from retirement, denying him the first podium finish for a Briton before claiming the yellow jersey in 2012.

"That was the thing that upset me the most about 2009 and 2010 - I thought you lying b******," Wiggins said. "I can still remember going toe-to-toe with him, watching him and his body language. Watch the videos and see the way the guy was riding. I just don't believe anything that comes out of his mouth anymore."

Wiggins admitted he had originally planned to steer clear of the two-part interview with Winfrey. "I was very determined not to watch it. I was a fan of Lance - I remember watching the World [Championships] 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. 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.

"It's heartbreaking for the sport, but then the anger kicks in and you start thinking 'you f****** a*******'.

"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."

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