Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France 2012, stage nine

Bradley Wiggins received a surprise gift today. On his way to trying to win the Tour de France, he won his first stage and with more time than he imagined.

"I didn't set out to win the stage today. To come away with the stage is great, I was only thinking of the GC," Wiggins said in the media mix-zone. "To have the stage is just like Christmas when you are a kid. It's brilliant."

Wiggins covered the 41.5km in 51-24 minutes in the first of two long time trials in Besançon. He rode 1-43 minutes faster than his nearest GC rival, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).

Evans rode in 53-07 minutes, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) in 53-31 and Chris Froome (Sky) in 51-59. Froome, thanks to his near-winning ride, moved up to third overall and pushed Italy's Nibali down to fourth.

"My time trial in the Dauphiné was good, I was close to Cadel there," Wiggins continued. "I thought, if I could get a minute on Cadel here, I'd have a fantastic ride. I did it, I came away with more [time] and the stage win."

The win was a first for Wiggins, who has competed in six editions of the Tour de France. In 2010, he won the opening time trial of the Giro d'Italia and held the leader's pink jersey for one day.

"I've won the stage, which was something I almost forget about. The stage almost became irrelevant, watching Evans, Vincenzo and others," Wiggins said. "I'm just very pleased with how I put the ride together: the warm up, the noise when I took off - I tried not to let that phase me so not to go out too hard.

"So at the moment, it's just a relief, I just proud to have done that. Tonight, I'll put it in context on where I stand on Cadel. At the moment, it's a lot to take in."

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Wiggins lashes out after doping accusations

Evans and BMC out-gunned by Sky in the mountains

Wiggins looking to keep Tour lead until Paris

Froome on Tour stage win: I had the legs and went for it

Martin to lead Garmin in the mountains as Hesjedal withdraws

Dislocated shoulder hinders Greipel sprint

Hesjedal may be out of Tour after Garmin suffer in crash

Stage seven video preview

The Feed Zone: Tour news round-up (July 5)

Celebrating the Tour's lead-out men

Liquigas's yellow and green jersey aim at Tour

Brailsford: Sky on the front for Cav and Wiggins

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials

CW's Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever


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