Journalist Richard Moore, in his book "Sky's The Limit" on the team, writes of the apparent fascination that team manager Dave Brailsford — a guru of British cycling — had for the Armstrong approach to the Tour.
Sky studied the race, and noted Armstrong formulas like keeping the leader in the front to avoid crashes, or tweaking at the margins on training or effort management to get an edge that would add up against rivals.
Wiggins' father, Gary, was an Australian cyclist who was mostly absent from Bradley's life. He was a "boozer and brawler" who died in 2008 — and had been beaten and dumped in a street in New South Wales, Moore wrote.
Wiggins, asked Tuesday about what his father might have made of his Tour success, replied: "It's difficult to say. That depends on whether he was sober or ... "
Was his father in the back of his mind, just a little?
"Not really. I've put that one to bed," Wiggins said.
Wiggins, too, had his run-ins with drink. After winning gold at the 2004 Olympics, he signed with a French team, moved to western Nantes, and lived day-to-day, at times with debt, over a Chinese restaurant.
"I was drunk all the time between races because I was alone in France, 21, 22 years old," Wiggins recalled, "The only thing to do at night was to buy a six-pack of beer bottles."
His life started to change when he became a father.
"I have to try something to make a little money," he recalled. "I had two young children at the time, and I said, 'I can't live like this, I have one euro in my pocket' ... and it started there."
He lost weight. At the Beijing Games, he weighed 181 pounds; at the Tour, he was down to 157. He drinks almost nothing now, he says.
He could also contend for gold in the Olympic time trial. So as he returned to the Sky bus, he jumped up on a team car, bowed and took a swig from a bottle ... of yellow rehydration drink — not Champagne.
But he could be forgiven for sipping a bit on the Champs-Elysees.
Eds: Samuel Petrequin and Greg Keller contributed from Paris.