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Dario Cioni, Bradley Wiggins and Michael Barry
Team Sky leader struggles on the road to Morzine-Avoriaz
Britain’s Bradley Wiggins lost time to his yellow jersey rivals on stage 8 of the Tour de France to Morzine-Avoriaz but was confident he could bounce back in the coming days. The Sky captain came home in 19th place, 1:45 down on stage winner Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and now sits 14th on GC, 2:45 behind yellow jersey Cadel Evans (BMC)
Wiggins’s Sky team set the pace on the Col de la Ramaz, shredding the majority of the field and ending the hopes of Lance Armstrong’s challenge. In fact the Briton looked comfortable at the summit but on the slopes of the final climb up to the Avoriaz ski station he slowly began to unravel in the heat, dropping from the lead group with less than four kilometres remaining.
"I felt pretty good most of the day, especially on the second climb. It was just on the last one that I was overcooked and there came a point when I had to back off so I wouldn't completely blow. It was a damage limitation exercise,” he said at the finish.
"It's a long old race and I have to admit I was not good enough today. I struggled with the weather in the last few days and I knew I had to limit my losses. We'll see what happens in the next few days."
Asked why his team had worked on the climb to Ramaz, Wiggins replied: "We rode because we knew that if we didn’t do it, someone else would and so we wanted to be at the front end of it."
“I felt good until the last climb but just couldn’t hold on at the end there. I’m happy to admit I wasn’t quite good enough today but there’s still a lot of the race left so we’ll see what happens.”