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.”
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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.”
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