Unpopular Rolland apologises
Frenchman Pierre Rolland apologised on Sunday after facing the wrath of the Tour de France peloton for attacking after the field had suffered a rash of punctures.
The end of the 191 km 14th stage from Limoux to Foix was dramatic for two reasons.
Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez, who had been part of a long breakaway, escaped his fellow companions with 11km to race to give his decimated Rabobank team a welcome win.
Behind him, however, confusion reigned as a number of riders, notably defending champion Cadel Evans, suffered numerous punctures after spectators threw nails on to the road on the final climb.
Once the extent of the mayhem became apparent, Wiggins's Sky team, which had been controlling the peloton, restored order by sportingly calling a truce to wait on the delayed riders.
Rolland, however, was seen attacking the yellow jersey group on the descent, prompting a number of angry gestures in his direction.
He was later caught and reprimanded and later claimed he had not known of the incident.
Wiggins, however, was quick to hit out.
"It was a bit uncouth at that time really," said Wiggins, who retained his 2:05 lead over teammate Chris Froome with Italian Vincenzo Nibali 2:23 behind in third and Evans in fourth at 3:19.
"The stage was gone, they (stage leaders) had 17 minutes, we'd been up a climb that was really tough. No-one went away. The race was over.
"And then it became apparent that a lot of people had punctured. I don't know whether he (Rolland) knew or not but obviously we caught him once and then he did it again.
"I knew straight away something had happened and I'm sure everyone else did. But it didn't seem the honourable thing to do really to benefit from other people's misfortune in a part of the race that was over."
Rolland, who quickly became the most unpopular rider in the peloton, was quick to apologise.
"As a rider I respect the peloton and its codes. I think I've got enough class not to attack like that," said Rolland, who won the mountaintop finish to La Toussuire on stage 11.
"It was only when I was caught by the peloton and they asked my why I'd attacked that I found out there had been mass punctures.
"What they're accusing me of saddens me. I'm really sorry."
Rolland is ninth in the race's general classification at 8:31 behind Wiggins ahead of stage 15 on Monday.