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Britain’s Wiggins Stums the Tour de France

By Matthieu Boisseau


32 -year old Bradley Wiggins definitely justified his pre-race favourite tag by winning the 41.5-kilometer individual time trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon on Monday. The British rider tightens  his hold on the yellow jersey which he took possession of on Saturday, as he clocked 51 minutes and 24 seconds.

This is another impressive performance for Team Sky, as fellow Briton and Wiggins’ teammate Chris Froome finished second. Both of them even beat Olympic and multiple world champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, the prologue winner.

With a third place at La Planche des Belles Filles on Saturday, Wiggins became the fifth British rider to wear the Maillot Jaune, following Tom Simpson (1962), Chris Boardman (1994, 1997, 1998), Sean Yates (1994) and David Millar (2000), while Chris Froome won the stage.

On Monday, the 32-year-old three-time Olympic gold medalist trashed defending champion Cadel Evans, finishing 1 minute and 43 seconds faster than the Australian. The overall standing now shows Wiggins in possession of a 1 minute 53 lead over Evans, with Vincenzo Nibali 2 min 23 seconds adrift in fourth and Froome up to third, 2 min 07 adrift.

But in spite of Wiggins’ impressive performances, the French crowd’s new idol is 22-year-old Thibaut Pinot, who gave France its first stage win in this year's Tour in Porrentruy, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and Wiggins’ opponents will have to rack their brains to find the perfect strategy to beat Team Sky. But the British team already has a strong grip on the Tour, in a style reminiscent of Lance Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal team.


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