A clean win for Wiggins?

There have been doping allegations at Tour de France since the race began in 1903, and even Tour legend, seven times winner Lance Armstrong is under investigation and risks being stripped of all his titles.

While huge efforts have been made to clean up the sport, there is always a question mark over any rider’s head when he dominates a race. I sincerely believe that Wiggins is a clean rider but a friend recently told me of the theory that a sign of a rider taking drugs can be shown up by a sudden improvement in form, so I looked at Wiggins’ record at the tour, over the last few years.

2007: Wiggins racing for Cofidis won the combativity award on stage six for a long solo breakaway. On the 16th stage he was ranked 131st when his team was forced to withdraw after team mate Cristian Moreni tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and the the whole team were led away by police. Wiggins spoke out against dopers on the tour and vowed to never ride for Cofidis again.

2008: Wiggins had turned his attention to track racing. He won three gold medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. At the Beijing Olympics he won the pursuit, the first rider to successfully defend a pursuit title at the Olympics. He was also part of the Olympic pursuit team which won gold and broke the world record.

2009: Now riding for US team, Garmin – Slipstream, Wiggins went into the tour de France six kilos lighter after a grueling Giro d’Italia where he finished 71st. He went on to surprise everyone by finishing fourth at the Tour de France. Equalling the highest finish for a British rider set by Robert Millar in 1984.

2010: Wiggins became a team leader for the first time at Team Sky, he improved on his Giro d’Italia performance finishing 40th and went into the Tour de France full of confidence. He had a disappointing tour however, struggling a lot throughout the middle phase and in the end could only manage 24th, 4 seconds behind 23rd placed Lance Armstrong and 38 minutes 45 seconds behind the winner Andy Schleck. Originally Spanish rider Alberto Contador had finished first by 39 seconds but was later stripped of the title after testing positive for the drug clenbuterol.

2011: Again at the helm of Team Sky, he decided against competing in the Giro d’Italia putting all his focus on the Tour de France. In his last competition before starting the tour he won the British National Road Race Championships. Wiggins started strong at the 2011 Tour de France and was placed Sixth at the end of stage Six, 10 seconds off the lead. But in stage Seven he crashed and broke his collarbone ending his chances for that year.

Do you think cycling has cleaned up its act? Or do you believe it’s a sport in which you have to cheat to win? Vote in the poll and leave your comments below:

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