MADRID, Feb 7, 2013 (AFP) – Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins says he
thinks Lance Armstrong’s doping confession is catastrophic but will serve to
make the sport cleaner in the future.
Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France himself, was stripped
of his titles after the International Cycling Union accepted a United States
Anti-Doping Agency report that he had doped when winning his seven Tours
between 1999 and 2005.
The American then confessed that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs
in an interview with TV host Oprah Winfrey.
But despite the scandal being just the latest doping issue to affect the
sport, Wiggins said he is hopeful the future of cycling will be clean in an
interview published Thursday in Spanish in sports daily Marca.
“In the short term the sensation is that it is catastrophic and generates
bad press. Moreover, with every scandal a lot of people who don’t know about
cycling chip in with their opinions,” he told the paper after his first four
days of competitive action this season in the Mallorca Challenge.
“However, in the long-term it is good. If my son decides to become a
cyclist when he turns professional the sport will be cleaner,” he added.
“Actions speak louder than words. We have to keep doing things as we are
just now and believe that in the future things will be better.”
Wiggins had an extraordinary 2012. On top of becoming the first Briton to
win the Tour, he also won his fourth Olympic gold medal in the time-trial at
This year, though, he has set himself new targets, including the
implausible double of winning the Tour and the Giro de Italia back-to-back.
“Why not? Every day I am more convinced that it is possible. To win the
Giro and the Tour in the same season is an incentive that motivates me. I
can’t think about what I have achieved as a professional but rather I have to
give myself new targets that inspire me to work harder every day.
“The objectives are different and I will do other races that I didn’t last
year, but the motivation and the will to win remain the same and that’s what
At 32 Wiggins isn’t exactly a rising star of the cycling circuit, but he
still believes he has plenty of years left at the top of the sport.
“Physically, I have still not reached my peak, but the question now, at 32
years of age, is more mental than physical.
“What matters is knowing what you most want to do and how much you want to
work to achieve it. Luckily, I have many years ahead of me.”