Arrogance and anger. Is this a Team Sky personality trait?
Whether it’s team manager David Brailsford or former Sky Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, there’s alway a dismissive and condescending attitude toward the press or anyone who would question the party line. It seems very Trumpish, their version being that cycling journalists are the enemy of people.
We’re reminded of that again was we read Bradley Wiggins’ interview quotes at the special Rouleur gathering where he flogged his new book Icons. One of those Icons was Lance Armstrong, a man Wiggins once had an extremely low opinion of as a doper but now Wiggins has surprisingly softened his view. Some people have reacted negatively to that switch and that’s when Wiggins’ anger flashed
“I’m sick of being told how to feel about the sport by people who have never ridden a bike. I’ll decide what I want to feel about the sport,” said Wiggins.
It’s a statement that calls to mind what Wiggins said about journalists who questioned Sky during his victorious 2012 Tour de France. A journalist had the temerity to ask for comment on how Sky could be as dominating as US Postal.
“Honestly, they’re just f**king w**kers,” Wiggins said. “I cannot be dealing with people like that. It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to anything in their lives. And it’s easy for them to sit under a pseudo-name on Twitter and write that sort of s**t rather than get off their arses in their own life and apply themselves, and work hard at something and achieve something. And that’s ultimately it.”
There you have it — people who have never ridden a bike, wankers, idlers, lazy, sit on their asses, never working hard for something. Those awful people — professional journalists — have no right to question or critique Sir Bradley Wiggins.
And how similar is that quote above to the classic from Lance Armstrong as he stood on the podium having cheated his way to another Tour de France win — “The last thing I’ll say for the people that don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the skeptics, I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you can’t dream big and I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles…”
Yeah, those people who have “never ridden a bike” again. What shitty people.
That was certainly the tone and attitude of Sky team boss David Brailsford at the 2017 Tour de France. He went on a rant against cyclingnews journalist Barry Ryan. He was unhappy with Ryan’s coverage related to UK Anti-Doping’s investigation into the mysterious Jiffy Bag that was couriered by Team Sky at the end of the 2011 Criterium d Dauphine.
On the second rest day, Brailsford launched into an extraordinary attack on Ryan as journalists waited to hear from Chris Froome. “You’re not invited. We have invited the people we want to speak to. You’ve been writing shit about me,” he said. Brailsford closed with a “You can stick it up your arse” before walking off.
We wouldn’t expect David Brailsford to change his condescending attitude. But we sure miss the irreverent and funny Wiggins — that guy seems to have been replaced by this boorish, angry fellow.