Bradley Wiggins in a class of his own in final time trial
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) punched the air as he crossed the finish line into Chartres after another dominating display in the time trial. It was his second TT victory of the Tour de France and while he didn't need to win the stage, he appeared to be on a mission to silence the critics who believed he was possibly not the strongest rider in the race. Wiggins will become the first British rider to win the Tour when the peloton rolls into Paris for stage 20.
Wiggins had the fastest splits through each of the time checks, which had only minutes before been decimated by his determined teammate Chris Froome. Froome was clearly having another great day in the time trial and would go on to finish in the position he’s become accustomed to during this Tour – second place. Wiggins and Froome were again a level above the remainder of the field with Luis León Sánchez (Rabobank) the rider to hold the fastest time for much of the day until the Sky duo rolled down the ramp of the 53.5km course. Sánchez finished in third, 1:50 down on Wiggins.
Sky finished the day with three in the top-ten as Richie Porte put in a great ride for fifth place, 2:25 down on his team leader. It wasn;t enough to topple the RadioShack-Nissan team however, from securing the teams classification ahead of the final stage.
The wearer of the young-rider classification jersey, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) showed why he could one day win a grand tour by not only passing his team leader Cadel Evans but also capturing seventh on the stage and extending his lead ahead of Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ-Big Mat).
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