Bradley Wiggins said he got the best out of himself in the second half of the stage 8 individual time trial at the Giro d’Italia on Saturday, but rued a puncture that may have cost him the stage victory.
Wiggins finished second behind grand tour debutant Alex Dowsett in the individual test to Saltara, and moved into fourth overall. However the time trial marked a key area in which the Tour de France champion was expected to distance his GC rivals. He only managed to put 11 seconds into maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali, leaving him 1’16 behind the Astana leader. Cadel Evans and Robert Gesink all remained above Wiggins despite the Brit clawing back some of the time he’d lost after a stage 7 crash.
At the finish in Saltara Wiggins once again declined to talk to the press but he later posted his thoughts on Team Sky’s website. “There are two weeks to go. The last week’s going to be very difficult and the time gaps are relatively small still. A minute and 16 to Nibali still with all the problems yesterday isn't that bad it’s all to play for. It’s not easy to defend a Grand Tour lead so it’s not a bad position to be in,” he said.
"We’re still here and we’ve got three guys in the top 10 now. We’ve got a few cards to play.”
Sergio Luis Henao lies in 7th with Rigoberto Uran in 10th but Wiggins' performances in the first weeks will mean he must go on the offensive in the mountains and take on Nibali on the Italian’s favoured terrain.
“I think there was some initial disappointment because I wanted to win the stage. It’s been a challenging few days with the crash yesterday and then to come back up. It wasn’t an easy course. I’ve said all along that it wasn’t one of those ones where you could take three or four minutes out of people because it was so technical at the start.”