The sport of cycling, already reeling from yesterday’s publication by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of its reasoned decision in the Lance Armstrong case, suffered a further shock today when Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins appeared on TV sporting a new haircut that suggested his barber may have inadvertently sneezed at a crucial point as the scissors hovered over the Team Sky rider’s fringe.
Luckily, Wiggins had recovered his composure by the time he appeared in front of the Sky News camera, starting off by acknowledging that as the reigning Tour de France champion he understood that he was a figurehead for the sport, albeit a reluctant one.
Describing USADA’s evidence as “irrefutable,” Wiggins made a reference to the reaction of one of Armstrong’s lawyers, saying: "It is certainly not a one-sided hatchet job, it is pretty damning. I am shocked at the scale of the evidence.
"I have been involved in pro cycling for a long time and I realise what it takes to train and win the Tour de France,” he went on.
"I'm not surprised by it... I had a good idea what is going on," he added.
However, he insisted that the sport had moved on.
"A lot of this stuff happened nearly 15 years ago, the sport has changed considerably."
The man who this July stood on the Champs-Elysées podium in the maillot jaune, as Armstrong had done on seven separate occasions, lamented the impact of the revelations on the Tour de France itself.
"This historical race is going to be without a winner for seven years. ...I mean what happens to those history books?"
Well, road.cc can reveal that fortunately help is at hand from a French national hero from some of the first history books children across the Channel encounter, and whose name may well go against all seven editions of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.
Asterix, we salute you.
Though if that Mr Tygart comes asking questions, you might want to keep quiet about dodgy druid Getafix and his magic potion, eh…?
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.