By Cycling Weekly published
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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