Bradley Wiggins awarded third place in 2009 Tour de France
BRADLEY Wiggins has been awarded third place in the 2009 Tour de France after Lance Armstrong’s result was wiped from the record books, the International Cycling Union has confirmed.
Wiggins, who won the 2012 Tour, placed a then British record-equalling fourth three years’ ago behind Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Armstrong. Now, after the UCI stripped Armstrong of all results from 1 August 1998, ratifying a ruling by the United States Anti-doping Agency, Wiggins is a two-time Tour podium rider.
The UCI ruled last week Armstrong’s sequence of seven successive Tour wins would not be reallocated and results following any future disqualifications relating to 1998 to 2005 would not be reallocated, but those from his comeback years, in 2009 and 2010, will. A UCI spokesperson said: “In 2009 the placing of Mr Armstrong will be reallocated. Bradley Wiggins is the third-placed rider for the Tour de France, 2009.”
Less than a year after winning double Olympic gold over four kilometres on the Beijing 2008 Games track, in the individual and team pursuits, Wiggins produced a coming of age performance on the road in the Tour. For the first time, Wiggins focused on the fabled race, equalling Robert Millar’s 1984 British best placing of fourth.
It was that performance and result which earned Wiggins a move to Team Sky and convinced him he could win the Tour, a dream realised in July, when he became the first British winner of the yellow jersey.
Chris Froome finished second, becoming the second Briton to claim a place on the Tour podium. The Armstrong affair was the subject of much discussion last week in Paris at the launch of the route of the 2013 Tour, the 100th edition of the fabled race. There Wiggins suggested he would target the Giro d’Italia next May and ride the Tour, which begins in Corsica on June 29 and finishes in Paris on July 21, in support of Froome as Team Sky seek to defend the title.
Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish has claimed the Armstrong doping scandal has unfairly tainted cyclists who are riding clean.
The Texan was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for taking banned substances. The United States Anti-Doping Agency revealed Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen” and other teams and riders have become embroiled in the scandal since the publication of their reasoned decision document.
Cavendish said: “If this negativity had come to cycling ten years ago I would accept it, but the negativity is coming to cycling now because of what happened years ago and that’s not right. It’s not fair to paint everyone with the same brush.
“Since I turned pro I’ve not seen anything that suggests it’s not clean.
“I’m riding clean and winning the biggest bike races in the world and I’m not actually that good. So if I’m winning clean then people can’t be cheating. You might get the odd d******d, but they will get found out now.”
Cavendish will race for Omega Pharma-QuickStep having recently announced he is leaving Team Sky after one season. He claimed he was denied the chance to win more stages of this year’s Tour de France by team tactics.
He added: “I didn’t want to put the yellow jersey at risk. But I could not get my head round it when we got to stages, which would not have jeopardised it, and the sports director said, ‘We don’t want a sprint’. I’m a perfectionist. I was one of the most prolific winners of the year, but I was good enough to win 25 and I won 15.”
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