Wiggins produces stunning performance to open gap at top of Tour de France
Monday, 09 July 2012
July 9 - Britain's Bradley Wiggins has put down a serious marker in his Tour de France bid by winning the ninth stage, the time trial, with a stunning performance to open a significant lead over the defending champion, Cadel Evans.
Team Sky's Wiggins clocked 51min 24sec on the 41.5 kilometre time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon to open up a gap over the Australian of 1:53.
Evans finished sixth in 53:07 while Team Sky celebrated a one-two with Chris Froome second in 51:59.
He is now third overall - 2:07 behind team-mate Wiggins - as British cyclists finished one and two in a stage of the world's greatest cycling race for the first time in its 99 year history.
It was also Wiggins's first ever stage victory in the event.
On the first uphill segment of the course to Abbans-Dessus – a rise of 145 metres at a maximum gradient of 10 per cent - Wiggins was already a minute ahead of Evans and just continued to pull away.
"Bradley delivered," said Team Sky sporting director Sean Yates.
"It's a long way to Paris but obviously we're in a fantastic position.
"Brad is in the form of his life and everyone in Britain will be very proud.
"Long may it continue."
Despite Wiggins' comfortable lead ahead of the resumption on Wednesday (July 11) - the 121-mile 10th stage from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine - after tomorrow's rest day he is taking nothing for granted.
"It's never over until the fat lady sings and she hasn't entered the room yet," said the 32-year-old Londoner.
"This is just another day at the Tour.
"There's a long way to go.
"It's a fantastic position to be in, but there's always the possibility of a bad day.
"This race is far from over.
"Cadel is not going to give up until Paris."
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