• Tour de France, Stage Nine

Awesome Wiggins tightens grip on Tour

ESPN staff
July 9, 2012
Bradley Wiggins strains in the closing stages © PA Photos

Bradley Wiggins seized control of the Tour de France with a blistering effort in Monday's timetrial.

Wiggins came into the 41.5km stage between Arc-et-Senans and Besancon with a 10-second advantage over defending champion Cadel Evans, but he put 1.47 into his big rival with a time of 51.24.

And in a double boost for Team Sky, Wiggins' team-mate Chris Froome came home in a time of 51.59 to propel himself up the general classification to third.

Evans was over a minute down on Wiggins at the first intermediate check and although he limited his losses in the closing 25 kilometres, his hopes of defending his crown took a major hit as he came home in a time of 53.07.

Tejay Van Garderen, a BMC tram-mate of Evans, produced a superb ride to come home in a time of 52.30 to claim fourth behind Fabian Cancellara.

The goal for Wiggins is to become the first Brit to win the Tour de France, but his win on Monday was his first stage success in the Tour.

"We are nine days into the Tour, we've had a couple of tough days - yesterday especially - everyone was tired last night," Wiggins said. "But timetrialling is what I do best, I get into my zone, get into my routine and I felt great from the minute I turned the first pedal stroke in the warm-up.

"This is what we've trained for, the hours, the sacrifices and the graft is what motivates me. It is for these moments."

The riders will get the day off on Tuesday before they hit the first day of the major mountains.

Stage Eight result
1 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky Procycling 51:24
2 Christopher Froome (GB) Sky Procycling - 0:35
3 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:57
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing - 01:06
5 Sylvain Chavanel (FR) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 01:24
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing - 01:43
7 Peter Velits (SLV) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 01:59
8 Vincenzo Nibali (IT) Liquigas-Cannondale - 02:07
9 Denis Menchov (RUS) Katusha - 02:08
10 Andreas Kloden (GER) RadioShack-Nissan - 02:09

General classification
1 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky Procycling - 39:09:20
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team - 0:01:52
3 Christopher Froome (GB) Sky Procycling - 0:02:07
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:02:23
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team - 0:03:02
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:03:19
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:04:23
8 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing - 0:05:14
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team - 0:05:20
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale - 0:05:29

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