Bradley Wiggins on Lance Armstrong, bluffing in Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins, Lance Armstrong

Bradley Wiggins looked back at going toe to toe with Lance Armstrong at the 2009 Tour de France, likening Armstrong’s ability to hide his suffering on tough climbs to befriending you and then slipping “the knife in your back.”

Wiggins made the comments in an interview with British three-time Olympic track cycling medalist Victoria Pendleton on BBC Radio.

Wiggins, the first Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012 and a seven-time Olympic cycling medalist, initially finished fourth in the 2009 Tour. Armstrong also raced the 2009 Tour, the first of his consecutive comeback Tours following his 2005 retirement. Armstrong initially finished third, one spot ahead of Wiggins.

Armstrong was stripped of that result, along with his record seven Tour titles, due to doping during his career. (Armstrong has denied he doped in his 2009-10 comeback). That put Wiggins on the podium, retroactively.

“I finished fourth, or subsequently third, whichever way you look at Lance Armstrong in your life,” Wiggins said in the BBC Radio interview. (Wiggins previously used incendiary language about Armstrong, saying the cancer survivor was lying when he said he didn’t dope during the 2009 Tour).

Wiggins, who hasn’t ridden the Tour since 2012 and likely won’t ever again, went on to discuss suffering in the Tour, a three-week, 2,000-mile stage race.

“It’s as much about destroying your competitors’ morale,” Wiggins said.

Armstrong proved quite talented in that respect.

“He was always talking to me on these climbs,” Wiggins said. “In the heat of the moment, he would go [American accent], ‘Wiggo, you even trying, man?’ … That was his tactic was to talk to you as if he was your best friend. He was incredible at that, almost befriending you, and then he’d slip the knife in your back. You could do that in the Tour de France when you’re climbing hour after hour on these climbs, giving you the impression that he wasn’t suffering.”

Wiggins, 34, also reiterated his desire to compete in a fifth Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. With one medal in Rio, Wiggins will pass track cyclist Chris Hoy for the most Olympic medals won by a British athlete.

Wiggins won the World Road Cycling Championships time trial for the first time Sept. 24, but his best medal hope in Rio may be on the track.

Wiggins won a silver medal for England as part of the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in July, his first major venture into track cycling since 2008.

Great Britain made the podium in the team pursuit at the last four Olympics, three times with Wiggins.

“I still have this romantic dream of finishing in Rio, winning a fifth Olympic gold medal,” Wiggins said when asked by Pendleton of what motivates him now. “Whether that happens or not is another thing.”

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South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun

Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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