Chorley’s Bradley Wiggins survived the Tour de France’s first big mountain stage to retain the race leader’s yellow jersey, before asking “what more can I do?” when the subject of doping was again broached.
Wiggins maintained an advantage of one minute 53 seconds over defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) following the 194.5-kilometre 10th stage from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, won by France’s Thomas Voeckler (Europcar).
Wiggins will today become the first Briton to wear the maillot jaune for four days in one Tour, beating the previous best of three days set by Chris Boardman in 1994 and David Millar in 2000, but keeping it in Paris on July 22 is his main goal.
The race leader is required to fulfil daily media duties, meaning Wiggins has faced an inquisition since taking the maillot jaune on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Team Sky rider exploded into an expletive-laden rant when questioned on Twitter speculation regarding drugs.
Questioned again the spectre of doping in cycling – an issue relevant due to Remy Di Gregorio’s detention by French police on Tuesday and with the ongoing United States Anti-Doping Agency inquiry into the US Postal team – Wiggins explained his frustration at being shrouded by suspicion.
Wiggins said: “There’s one reason why I’m in this position and that’s because I’ve worked hard and I shouldn’t have to justify all that other stuff.
“I deserve every minute of what I’ve been through this last week or so, especially after sitting at home last year and watching it on the telly.”
Wiggins crashed out of the 2011 Tour with a broken collarbone, but won the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine races this season.