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Tour favorite Wiggins jokes about bad memories

Tour favorite Wiggins jokes about bad memories

Being the Tour de France favorite comes with increased media attention but Bradley Wiggins has seen it all before. Just not for the same reasons.
Surrounded by a scrum of journalists at his team's hotel on the eve of the Tour prologue, the team Sky rider remembered one of his worst experiences as a cyclist _ with a lighthearted quip tinged with black humor about cycling's biggest plague over the last 15 years: Doping.
"I have not had this much attention since we got chucked off the Tour in Pau because someone tested positive," joked Wiggins,
"The last time I experienced this amount of media was when I was taken away in a police car in Pau."
It was five years ago and Wiggins was forced out of the Tour by race organizers after one of his teammates, Christian Moreni, failed a doping control before admitting he doped.
Wiggins was back as a bookmaker's favorite for the yellow jersey following his impressive run of wins this season at Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine.
Aiming to become the first British rider to win the Tour, Wiggins says he is enjoying his new status. Tour director Christian Prudhomme recently referred to him as "the fifth Beatle."
"It's nice to be in this position because it means you're doing well," Wiggins said. "It's not because you tested positive or you've got something hanging over you. It's an amazing position."
Wiggins, a three-time Olympic champion on the track, said he's sensed through social media how many fans back in Britain are behind his quest to climb atop the Tour podium.
The son of a former track champion, Wiggins' sporting interests are not limited to cycling. A big football fan, he compared his transfer from the Garmin team to Sky following his fourth-place finish at the 2009 Tour as a player leaving Wigan in the hope of winning the Champions League with Manchester United.
"In England ... every childhood's dream is to lift the FA Cup at Wembley or whatever," Wiggins said, when asked about the meaning of a Tour victory. "This is my Wembley."


Updated : 2021-05-11 12:51 GMT+08:00