VINCENZO NIBALI SAYS Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins should ‘respect’ his rivals for the yellow jersey.
Nibali, who was criticised by reigning champion Cadel Evans after attacking on Stage 10 while the Australian paused for a crash, slammed Wiggins for staring at him as they crossed the line yesterday.
“When we crossed the line, Bradley turned and looked at me,” Nibali said. ”If he wants to be a great champion he needs to have a bit of respect for his adversaries.
“Sometimes turning around and looking into your face is an insult.”
The 27-year-old Italian claimed on the weekend that Wiggins did not impress him and tried to back that up on the Tour’s tenth stage between Macon and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. Nibali attacked on a descent with over 40km to go and built a one-minute lead before being caught by the peloton and finishing alongside Wiggins, Evans and the other main contenders for the yellow jersey.
“The idea was to put Sky on edge a bit, as they’re all going very well and we’re looking to isolate Wiggins as much as possible,” Nibali said. But the outspoken Italian was given a rebuke by Evans because Nibali’s attack came as last year’s champion bumped into compatriot Michael Rogers, who suffered a puncture.
“When Nibali went, I think there was a bit of a crash there,” Evans said. ”You don’t get rewards for sportsmanship, do you?”
Nibali seemed unfazed, however, and has argued other contenders should join with him in trying to disrupt Team Sky’s plans.
“I’ve shown courage so far, there are others who really need to show courage now,” he said.