Bradley Wiggins (Sky) signalled his intentions for the individual time trial at next month’s world championships by winning the final stage of the Tour de Pologne in Krakow on Saturday.
The Englishman scorched around the 37km-long course some 56 seconds quicker than Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) and 1:14 up on Taylor Phinney (BMC) to claim his first victory since the time trial at the London 2012 Olympics last year.
The Tour de Pologne was Wiggins’ first race since he abandoned the Giro d’Italia in May, as a nagging knee injury prevented him from lining up to defend his Tour de France title last month.
Wiggins maintained a low profile throughout the week and he finished the race in 48th place overall, explaining that his focus was purely on the concluding time trial.
“My goals have changed now, I didn’t come here for GC. I came here to win the time trial and I’ve done that,” Wiggins said afterwards. “Everything I’m doing is working towards the world championships time trial. It’s a good confirmation. I’ve won it, so we’re on the right track.”
Remarkably, it was only Wiggins’ second individual time trial of the season – he finished second to Alex Dowsett in the Giro d’Italia time trial to Saltara – but he looked immediately at ease as soon as he rolled down the start ramp.
“It was a great course and the weather was good, so everything was perfect for me,” Wiggins said. “I’ve been training very hard during the last six or seven weeks for this race, so I’m not too surprised to win. I was hoping to get a result like this to confirm that the work I’ve been doing has been good.”
Sky performance director Dan Hunt praised Wiggins’ performance as “a lesson in how to time trial,” telling the team website: “The climbs suited him, the descents suited him and then it was a flying, rolling run-in into Krakow. He absolutely smashed it.”
After the stage, Wiggins travelled to Mallorca to continue his preparations for the Florence world championships. His next race is the Eneco Tour (August 11-18) and he will also line up at the Tour of Britain ahead of the Worlds time trial, which takes place on September 25.