Sir Wiggo Dominates Tour of Britain’s Time Trial
Sir Bradley Wiggins lived up to his billing as the pre-race favourite for the Tour of Britain with a convincing win in the third-stage time trial in and around the Knowsley Safari park to take the race lead. With his team-mate Ian Stannard moving into second overall behind him, the race is now Team Sky’s to lose.
Wiggins covered the 10-mile course in 19min 54sec with Stannard finishing second, and New Zealand’s Jack Bauer in third. Stannard, the British national champion, is 33sec behind, which means that going into the toughest phase of the eight-day race, with three hilly stages in Wales and Devon to come, the Olympic time trial champion’s closest challenger is the Swiss Martin Elmiger, 47sec behind.
In the view of one of the pre-stage favourites, the British national time trial champion, Alex Dowsett, the ride sets Wiggins up as favourite for next week’s world time trial championship in Florence. “Brad has shown he is definitely the favourite for the world championship,” said Dowsett. “That ride of his was quite something on this course – it wasn’t a fast course, with dead turns and wet roads. It was very technical in the wet.”
Team Sky have made no bones of their ambition to win this Tour of Britain, their fourth attempt, and had taken charge of the two opening road stages. “We came here to control the race, that’s why we have a team of riders with big engines,” said their performance manager, Rod Ellingworth, who believes that Wiggins is back to the form that won him the London Olympics.
"That was as quick as Brad would have done last year. He’s showing the same commitment, the only question for next week is whether he can carry on at that pace over a longer distance. The riders in our team have all seen that commitment from Brad today, and they will respond to it."