Bradley Wiggins (Garmin) slumped to the ground after finishing seventh in the Cinque Terre Giro d’Italia time trial, asking for water after 90 minutes of total effort.

He had hoped for a place in the top five and perhaps even better. But finishing just five seconds behind Danilo Di Luca (LPR), who was racing to keep the pink jersey, shows how impressive Wiggins? performance really was.

Further proof comes from other results: Wiggins beat Ivan Basso (Liquigas) by 18 seconds, Lance Armstrong (Astana) by 27 seconds and Michael Rogers (Columbia) by 47.

Incredibly, Wiggins had not seen the course and dived into many of the blind corners without knowing what was on the other side. That probably cost him valuable seconds and left him with mixed feeling about his ride.

?My initial feeling was disappointment but I don?t really know why. I don?t know what I expected to do,? he told Cycling Weekly.

?I didn?t really expect to be in this position a few days ago and perhaps later, in hindsight, I won?t be too disappointed with my ride. I?m pretty happy with my effort and I should be happy with a top ten.?

Wiggins put out a balanced performance. He was eighth at the first intermediate time check at the summit of the Passo del Bracco after 18.6km and was sixth after the first descent at 34.5km. Like everybody, he lost time to Menchov on the second climb and was eighth at the third time check at the summit of the Passo del Termine after 44.5km.

At the finish in Riomaggiore after 60.6km and over 90 minutes of all out effort, he finished 1-59 behind Menchov.

?I might have gone a bit too hard at the start but it?s difficult to judge it because it?s such a long effort,? Wiggins told Cycling Weekly.

?I rode both the climbs really well and thought I got it pretty spot in but I felt I lost so much time on the descents. We didn?t do any thing for this reconnaissance wise and I was over cooking corners and under cooking them.?

?The last 10km dragged a bit because it didn?t really go down.?

Wiggins tried to recover from his huge effort in the shade of a van a hundred yards after the finish. He wiped his face with a towel, perhaps trying to wipe away the pain and disappointment, but quickly began to think about the final 14.4km time trial stage around Rome on Sunday May 31.

?I?m looking forward to the last time trial now. That?s more of my thing,? he said with determination.

The truth is that after working hard on his climbing ability, even the longest, hilliest, craziest time trial seen for years, is within Wiggins? reach.


Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Stage 12: Menchov storms to Giro TT win and race lead

Stage 11: Cavendish romps to second Giro stage win

Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet

Giro rest day review (May 18)

Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan

Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad

Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage

Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break

Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey

Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey

Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash

Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win

Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Desktop wallpaper photos

News

Lance and Levi: Ready for Giro time trial

Cavendish: ‘Today brought back memories of San Remo’ (stage 11)

Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?

Wiggins loses time in the Giro (stage 10)

Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest

How are the Giro favourites doing?

Cavendish says ‘I’m addicted to winning’

Riders stage go-slow protest during Giro stage in Milan

Cavendish cool before Milan sprint

No sympathy for Armstrong from Giro boss

Boasson Hagen celebrates his birthday early

Cavendish overjoyed for Boasson Hagen

Armstrong ‘livid’ at dangerous Giro stage

Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages

Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink

Giro news round-up: 14 May

Wiggins: ‘I can’t keep smashing away on the climbs’

Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall

Armstrong after Giro stage 5: ‘That was hard’

Cavendish looking for Giro revenge

Armstrong happy with stage four performance

Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead

Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team

Vande Velde crashes out of Giro

Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash

Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey

Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav

I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish

Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial

Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up

Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial

Team time trial start times

Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction

Brits in Venice for Giro presentation

Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation

Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana

Armstrong working to save Astana team

Wiggins in top form for Giro

Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener

Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up

Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled

Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride

Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia

Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie

David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro

Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints

2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice

Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride

Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro

Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route

Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey

2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features

Find the pink jersey competition

Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview

British riders to have led the grand tours

CW’s Giro top ten prediction

Brits in the Giro 2009

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia


2008 Giro d’Italia archive

Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results

From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia

Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race

Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special

Five days to go, what’s in store?

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)

Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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