Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggin, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage nine

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) was in an upbeat mood after what was arguably one of his strongest ever mountain performances, in which Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) was the only top leader able to beat him at the end of stage nine of the Vuelta a Espana.

Wiggins and Froome, though, dragged the group back up to Martin when the Irishman went on the attack with Nibali mid-way through the climb and in the process the two Sky riders shredded the peloton, with riders of the calibre of Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) losing time.

"I'm delighted with how things have gone," Wiggins said afterwards. "Once I'd seen the others were in difficulties I went into time trial mode and I just tried to take as much time off of them as possible."

"Everything I earned today was a bonus, I thought I'd just be limiting my losses. It was a fantastic finish."

"The team were brilliant again, Froomey [Chris Froome] was shining, he's really come to the fore now and proved his worth."

"It was phenomenal to see and the rest of the boys have not put a foot wrong all week. I haven't had to lift a finger, even though I've been nervous at times, they've put me in the right position when it's mattered and coached me through it."

"We're all looking forward to tomorrow [in the Salamanca time trial] cos it what's we do best, we'll go out there and give it everything."

"What's happened today must have been demoralising for the other contenders, specially the weaker time triallists who'll have to go out there for an hour tomorrow."

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Related links

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news

Interview: Wiggins looks ahead of crucial three days of Vuelta

Farrar taken to hospital after Vuelta crash

Arvesen quits Vuelta with crash injuries

Anton suffers again but Rodriguez becomes Spain's top contender

Wiggins pleased with strong ride in Spanish sierras

Cavendish abandons Vuelta a Espana

Cavendish battles on in summer scorcher in Vuelta

Vuelta heads for first major showdown on Tuesday

Matt Goss first rider to abandon Vuelta

Team Sky's TTT horror on troublesome course

Dan Martin confident and collected as Vuelta team leader

Pro predictions: Who will win the Vuelta?

HTC-Highroad's reservations about TTT course

Vuelta team time trial start order

Sky plans early start for Vuelta team time trial recon

Wiggins looking to minimise losses in testing Vuelta TTT

Riders voice support for Hushovd over Vuelta exclusion

Cancellara late to Vuelta after being hospitalised by bee sting

Nibali back for victory again in 2011 Vuelta

Wiggins: "I'm in a great position going into the Vuelta"

Wiggins confirmed as Sky leader for the Vuelta

Freire: It'll be tough in the Vuelta with Cavendish

Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Dan Martin to lead Garmin-Cervelo

Cavendish and Wiggins on provisional Vuelta start list

Climbers set to dominate in 2011 Vuelta

Millar on 2011 Vuelta: 'Modern-looking and very challenging"

2011 Vuelta set to return to Angliru and Basque country

Angliru back in 2011 Tour of Spain

Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Martin to lead Garmin-Cervélo

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Teams, riders, start list

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Who's riding?

Vuelta a Espana 2011 team list

Vuelta a Espana 2011

: Stage reports

Stage nine: Martin wins as Wiggins moves further up GC

Stage eight: Rodriguez wins again to take overall lead

Stage seven: Kittel wins chaotic bunch sprint

Stage six: Sagan takes Vuelta stage win in controversial circumstances

Stage five: Rodriguez takes second win for Katusha but Chavanel holds on

Stage four: Moreno wins first mountain skirmish at Sierra Nevada

Stage three: Lastras solos to stage and takes red jersey

Stage two: Sutton grabs stage win to set things right for Sky

Stage one: Leopard-Trek win opening TTT to put Fuglsang in front

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Photo galleries

By Graham Watson

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

Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide

Vuelta a Espana 2011: ITV4 TV schedule

Vuelta a Espana 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

ITV to show 2011 Vuelta


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