Bradley Wiggins (Sky) confirmed he is in great shape with a rock solid ride in the first big mountain test of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana.
The Londoner was feeling so good, in fact, he even put his team-mate Chris Froome to work at the top of the Sierra Nevada climb, before taking 18th on the stage in the main pack of favourites.
His strong performance compared well with one of the most dangerous climbers, Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who had a bad day – according to Euskaltel-Euskadi because of poor form.
Wiggins has said in the past he had been training specifically to combat the heat, and riding at altitude, and today that paid off in spades.
“It was another good team performance and Chris Froome rode his heart out for me again at the end there,” Wiggins said later.
“He’s looking really good at the moment and things are going well again.”
Wiggins added that he was “pretty happy” with how he coped with the heat and with his strong finish.
“Obviously, though, it’s still early doors in terms of the race. We’re just going to continue to take things on the day by day.”
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Vuelta a Espana 2011
: Stage reports
Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide