London - Bradley Wiggins has labelled the marginal gains
philosophy said to underpin much of British Cycling's recent success as "a
load of rubbish".
In comments reported by the Daily Telegraph on Monday,
Wiggins was equally dismissive of the "chimp paradox" theory for
dealing with pressure promoted by sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters and said
former British track team-mate and fellow Olympic gold medallist Victoria
Pendleton was a "bit of a milkshake".
Britain was seen to gain a technological advantage over its
rivals thanks to research carried out under what became known as the 'Secret
Squirrel Club' headed up by former Olympic champion Chris Boardman that looked
for legal improvements in bike design and rider equipment.
It all became known as part of the search for "marginal
gains" but Wiggins, in what the Telegraph said were remarks made at a
corporate event in the City of London, was unimpressed.
"A lot of people made a lot of money out of it and
David Brailsford used it constantly as his calling card, but I always thought
it was a load of rubbish," said Wiggins.
"It's a bit like the whole chimp thing," added the
five-times Olympic gold medallist, who won several golds when Brailsford was in
charge of the British Cycling team. He also won the 2012 Tour de France for the
Team Sky outfit headed up by the celebrated coach.
"At the end of the day, chimp theories and marginal
gains and all these buzzwords - a lot of the time, I just think you have got to
get the fundamentals right: go ride your bike, put the work in, and you're
either good or you're not good.
"Sometimes in life or in sport, whatever, you're either
good at something or you're not. That's what makes you a better athlete: your
physical ability and whether you've trained enough - not whether you've slept
on a certain pillow or mattress."
Pendleton, who won cycling golds at both the 2008 Beijing
Olympics and four years later in London, has spoken of how Peters helped her
But Wiggins said: "Vicky's a bit of a milkshake (mixed
up) anyway. You can over-analyse things but at the end of the day, it's about
your ability and whether you're a better athlete than the other person or not.
"Whether you've come to grips with this other person
living inside you, it's all a bit... well, each to his own. That may work with
some people, but as (former footballer) Roy Keane would say: it's utter
The Telegraph said Wiggins was not asked at the event about
the on-going investigation into whether he had broken anti-doping rules at the
2011 Criterium du Dauphine race.
Last week Wiggins told Sky Sports he would have a "lot
to say" and "shock a few people" when he finally comments in
details on the allegations which centre on whether he was given a legal
decongestant or received an unauthorised injection of the powerful
corticosteroid Triamcinolone without an official medical exemption.