• Tour de France

Wiggins: I wanted to go out with a bang

ESPN staff
July 21, 2012
Bradley Wiggins aims a fist pump as he crosses the line in the individual time-trial © PA Photos

Bradley Wiggins admitted being all but confirmed as the Tour de France victor was a "defining moment" in his life.

Barring any major incident, Wiggins will become the first Briton to win the Tour de France after extending his lead over his rivals with a stellar showing in the individual time-trial on Saturday.

The Team Sky rider produced a clinical ride, crossing the line at the end of the 53.5-kilometre route from Bonneval to Chartres in one hour, four minutes and 13 seconds - 1:16 better off than second-placed Chris Froome, Wiggins' team-mate.

Sunday's final stage is traditionally seen as a procession into Paris, with Wiggins seemingly assured of victory as he holds a 3:21 advantage over Froome and 6:19 over third-placed Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) in the battle for the General Classification.

"It's what I wanted to do. I wanted to go out with a bang," Wiggins said. "The Tour's not over until now really. 53km is a long way but it's what I do best. I came out in March and looked at this course with Sean [Yates, Team Sky Sports Director]. I felt fantastic out there.

"The first pedal stroke in the warm-up I normally know whether I'm on it or not. I knew today the minute I rolled off that ramp that I was on a good one.

"It was just a case of staying composed, concentrating and actually in the last 15-20k I was thinking about my wife and children, my grandfather, my nan, my mother. That was just spurring me on with every pedal stroke.

"It sounds cheesy but your whole life to get to this point - it's a defining moment in your life. From the minute I got into cycling as a kid it's all summed up for today."

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