Wiggins blitzes Evans to extend Tour lead

Bradley Wiggins tightened his grip on the yellow jersey with a maiden Tour de France stage victory that heaped the pressure on defending champion Cadel Evans.

Britain's Olympic track champion Wiggins was widely expected to increase his overnight lead of 10sec on his Australian rival on the first of two long time trials to feature in the 99th edition of the race.

But by the end of Monday's 41.5 km solo ride that had seen former four-time world champion Fabian Cancellara finish 57sec in arrears, Wiggins had pushed his advantage over the Australian to 1min 53sec.

The icing on the cake for Team Sky was Chris Froome's second place at 35sec, two days after the Kenyan-born Briton claimed his maiden stage at the first hilltop finish at La Planche des Belles Filles.

Evans's American teammate Tejay Van Garderen was fourth at 1:06, just ahead of French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel in sixth at 1:24.

Evans, who finished sixth at 1:43, admitted his surprise that Wiggins and Froome had "got first and second in the time trial".

But he added: "They were exceptional.

"When you're out there on your own, there's not much you can do, you do what you can. But there's still a lot more racing to be done before Paris."

Wiggins' priority had been to distance his rivals for the yellow jersey.

But soon after turning on the turbos from the start of the slightly technical rolling course, it was clear he would be giving Evans a small mountain to climb ahead of two days in the high Alps Wednesday and Thursday.

"I knew from the first pedal turn that I felt fantastic," said the 32-year-old Londoner.

"But to go from that to winning the stage, it's just fantastic.

"We came here and did a good reconnaissance of the course, which has lots of little bends and is quite technical at the finish.

"But today wasn't about winning. I was thinking more about the GC (general classification) battle with (Vincenzo) Nibali and Cadel. The stage wasn't my priority."

Italian Nibali, an aggressive racer who could become a key ally of Evans' in the mountains, did well to finish at 2:07 and is now fourth overall at 2:23.

Having raced against Froome and Wiggins at last year's Tour of Spain, where the English pair finished around a minute ahead of him on a 47 km time trial in Salamanca, the Italian was not surprised.

"I expected to lose as much time to Froome and Wiggins after the Tour of Spain result last year," said Nibali, who rides for Liquigas.

Russian Denis Menchov, a former winner of the Tour of Spain and Giro d'Italia, is in fifth at 3:02.

Despite getting the job done, Wiggins is not celebrating yet.

"After the rest day (on Tuesday) it will be a whole different ball game," he said. "And anything can happen, a bad day or a crash, so let's just take it a day at a time."

Evans sealed victory in 2011 with a strong time trial performance on stage 19.

But despite being encouraged with a time that was superior to world champion Tony Martin and only 46 secs behind Cancellara, he will have no option but to shake things up in the mountain stages ahead.

"It wasn't my best time trial but certainly not a bad one, and in comparison to the other time triallists like Cancellara and Martin and so on it seems that I wasn't so off the mark," said Evans.

Asked what his approach would now be, he added: "Same as always. Fight to the end and don't give up.

"It hasn't been optimal so far the Tour, 1:53 down is not the best position to be in compared to last year when I was only two seconds down (at the same stage).

"But we'll reassess the situation day by day and we don't give up, that's for sure, we don't give up."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded
    Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded

    Indonesia said Saturday it has officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, but a Frenchman was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where they will face the firing squad along with an Indonesian prisoner, despite strident international criticism. "Today, just now, we just finished …

  • Double Celebration
    Double Celebration

    Ropali Corporation, one of the top multi-brand motorcycle dealers in the Philippines, now holds two Guinness World Records. In the span of four days, Ropali Corporation broke two records, namely: The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars and The Largest Simultaneous Motorcycle Burnout. As such, it also became the first motorcycle dealer in the Philippines to become a two-time Guinness World Record holder. The record for The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars was previously …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options