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Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
Sky leader second and Tony Martin falters
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) put himself in strong position for the overall battle at Paris-Nice with a commanding display on stage 1. The British rider finished second to Gustav Larsson in the 9.4 kilometer time trial but the one second deficit only told part of the story with the Sky rider having to battle wet conditions throughout his test. Larsson, who signed for Vacansoleil-DCM at the start of the season, had dry conditions during his run.
"I didn't take any risks in the corners but I knew in a straight line I was flying,” Wiggins told the BBC.
"I wasn't willing to find out whether it was slippery so I never really pushed it as hard as I could have done in the corners," added Wiggins.
"I'd already slipped on the ramp coming off the start, so straight away I had one mind on safety in the corners. Fortunately there weren't so many corners so it wasn't as decisive."
The 31-year-old has started the season in good form, winning the time trial at the Volta ao Algarve, and finishing third overall.
His performance came in stark contrast to defending Paris-Nice champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) who raced in the same conditions as Wiggins but finished 25 seconds down on Larsson.
Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) finished third on the stage, with fellow American Tejay Van Garderen picking up fourth and the white jersey as the best young rider.
Monday’s stage two will see the peloton race 185 kilometers from Mantes-la-Jolie to Orléans.