‘Unbelievable’ that Wiggins described Armstrong as ‘perfect’ Tour de France rider

Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins (left) competed against Lance Armstrong as a young rider

UCI president David Lappartient says it is “unbelievable” that Sir Bradley Wiggins has described Lance Armstrong as the “perfect” Tour de France rider.

Briton Wiggins says he knows his decision to include disgraced drugs cheat Armstrong in a new book celebrating his cycling influences was never going to prove popular.

Lappartient said it was “strange”.

“Supporting Lance Armstrong, who has been banned for life for cheating, isn’t acceptable,” he said.

“How he can say that the rider is the archetype of a big tour, if the guy won with all what we know about this?

“But, yes, Wiggins is Wiggins. He’s always said some strange things.”

Armstrong recovered from cancer before winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.

However, he was stripped of his titles and banned from the sport for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in August 2012.

Armstrong repeatedly denied doping allegations following his return from cancer until finally confessing in January 2013.

Wiggins, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012.

He said his description of Armstrong was not about “praising” a drugs cheat. He believes the American’s character and resilience on the bike makes him an icon in cycling, regardless of his doping.

Wiggins said he was “not condoning for one minute what Lance did” but added: “From the angle I wrote this book at, I couldn’t not include him in it.”

He said of Armstrong: “I do have a relationship with him that I can’t deny, or I can’t pretend it isn’t there.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/46082219

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/35176037

‘I’m not asking anyone to agree with me’

Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins (left) competed against Lance Armstrong as a young rider

Sir Bradley Wiggins says he knows his decision to include disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong in a new book celebrating his cycling influences was never going to prove popular.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist, who in 2012 became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, said: “I do have a relationship with him that I can’t deny, or I can’t pretend it isn’t there.”

The 38-year-old’s new book, Icons, details 21 key figures during Wiggins’ life and cycling career.

American Armstrong recovered from cancer before winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.

However, he was stripped of his titles and banned from the sport for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in August 2012.

Armstrong repeatedly denied doping allegations following his return from cancer until finally confessing during a television interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

The Times said the inclusion of Armstrong has “astonished the world of cycling” while the Daily Mail said Wiggins was “praising the drug cheat Armstrong”.

Wiggins’ says his description of Armstrong is not about “praising” a drugs cheat. He believes Armstrong’s character and resilience on the bike makes him an icon in cycling, regardless of the biggest scandal to hit the sport.

“I’m not condoning for one minute what Lance did,” Wiggins said at an event before his official book tour this week.

“From the angle I wrote this book at, I couldn’t not include him in it.

“In terms of how I feel, I’m not asking anyone to agree with me, but you can’t change the way someone made you feel.

“At the end of the day, we’re all human and if someone asks me now, I’m going to tell them what I think – I haven’t got an agenda, I’m not in a team, and not everyone is going to like it.”

In the book, Wiggins discusses the idea that Henri Desgrange, the ‘Father of the Tour’, created the Tour de France in 1903 envisaging a “perfect winner”.

Wiggins believes Desgrange wanted “the type of super-athlete who would not only defeat his opponents, but also whatever nature might throw at him”.

He added: “It was an extreme vision of cycling, and a very French one. But it explains why Tour de France winners tended to be masochistic, obsessive and on occasion borderline sociopathic.

“Lance’s story has been told ad infinitum, but for me one of the most interesting aspects is his transformation from classics rider to post-cancer Grand Tour rider.

“Taking out what happened subsequently, he won the sprints and time trials in yellow. He brought spectators back, and he was going across the fields after he crashed – and still winning. It’s all those things combined which made him get through seven Tours without any real mishaps or retirements. Just getting through one is hard enough, so to do it for seven…”

Wiggins, who refers to Armstrong in the book as “the archetypal Tour de France cyclist”, added: “If Desgrange could name the attributes to the perfect winner of the race, I think Lance would tick every box, and in personality as well with the character about him and all that. So that’s how I describe it, and I don’t think I’m out of place by saying that.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/46051098

Track Cycling World Cup: Britain’s women win gold in Canada team pursuit

Great Britain's women's track cycling team

Britain’s Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Laura Kenny joined Ellie Dickinson in the team for the second World Cup event in Canada

Great Britain’s women won gold in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Canada.

Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Ellie Dickinson beat Italy in the final on day one in Milton in a time of four minutes 18.138 seconds.

There was silver for Britain’s Oliver Wood in the men’s scratch race, behind Ukraine’s Vitaliy Hryniv.

Wood also took bronze in the men’s team pursuit, alongside Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Kian Emadi.

The British team beat France in the bronze medal race in a time of three minutes 54.134 seconds.

Ryan Owens, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny also won bronze in the men’s team sprint in 43.126 seconds, behind the Netherlands who clinched gold in 42.828 seconds.

Britain picked up six medals in the opening World Cup event in France last weekend.

The six-stage series offers the chance to win Olympic qualifying points, with round four of the six events taking place in London in December.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/46001592

Laura Kenny wins omnium gold at track World Cup in Canada

Laura Kenny celebrates winning gold

Laura Kenny won omnium gold at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Britain’s Laura Kenny won her second gold medal of the UCI Track World Cup in Milton, Canada, with victory in the women’s omnium.

The 26-year-old, a two-time omnium Olympic champion, also won team pursuit gold on Friday in what was her first World Cup event since January 2016.

Mexico’s Lizbeth Salazar finished second with Jennifer Valente of the United States in third.

Fellow Britons Ollie Wood and Mark Stewart combined to win madison silver.

The duo won the final sprint to finish second behind Denmark’s Casper Von Folsach and Julius Johansen.

Four-time Olympic champion Kenny returned to cycling in March having given birth to her first child in August 2017.

“To say I was nervous would have been an understatement. My first World Cup in the new format,” Kenny said on Instagram.

“It took me a couple of events to find my feet and to get used to racing at this level again but once I did I felt more and more like my old self and by the points race I started to really enjoy it.”

Britain won eight medals at the World Cup in Milton, having picked up six medals in the opening World Cup event in France last weekend.

The six-stage series offers the chance to win Olympic qualifying points, with round four taking place in London in December.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/46015785

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