Wiggins wins Tour's final time trial in Chartres

Bradley Wiggins was in a class of his own as he claimed his second time trial victory in this year’s race and with it cleared the final hurdle on his way to becoming the first British rider to win the Tour de France. Fastest at all of the intermediate check points, Wiggins completed the 53.5km course between Bonneval and Chartres in 1:04:13, putting him 1:16 ahead of his Sky teammate Chris Froome, who consolidated his position in second place overall.

Third place on the day went to Rabobank’s Luis León Sánchez, who held the lead for a substantial part of the afternoon but ended up 1:50 down on Wiggins. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) produced another competitive performance to cement his grip on the third spot on the podium. But there was a significant change further down the top 10 as defending champion Cadel Evans finished outside the top 50 on the day to drop to seventh place overall behind Haimar Zubeldia.

As has been the case so often during this race, the day was all about Team Sky and, of course, Wiggins. “This is what I wanted to do, to go out with a bang,” said the Briton, who is set to be crowned Tour de France champion in Paris tomorrow afternoon. “The Tour isn’t over until now, but this is what I do best. I came out here in March with Sean to look at the course and I knew it would suit me.”

Wiggins has looked stronger than all of his rivals during the Tour’s final week and said that he knew from his first pedal stroke as he warmed up that he was going to perform well.

“I knew I was on it when I went down the start ramp. In the last 15-20k I knew what my advantage was and I was thinking about my wife and kids, my mum, all of the people who’ve helped me get to where I am… I know it sounds cheesy but I was thinking about the fact that I’ve spent my whole life working to get to this point – this is the defining moment. It’s all been summed up today.” 

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford, whose daily mantra has been “We’re taking it one day at a time”, acknowledged: “We can start thinking about winning this race barring accidents.”

Brailsford was fulsome in his praise for his team leader and the rest of the Sky team. “I think Brad showed today why he is the leader of this team. He smashed the best time and Froomey did the same as well. It’s good to have two guys who can top the world in a sport that, quite honestly, we weren’t all that good at not so long ago. For Brad as a British rider to win this race in a British team with a British sponsor is a fantastic achievement,” said Brailsford.

He added: “People laughed when I said that our aim was to win the Tour within five years with a clean British rider. But I wouldn’t underestimate the effect that our Olympic experience has had. But this is a different sport on a very different playing field. But today is all about Bradley Wiggins and his incredible achievement.”

 Gretsch and Sánchez set early pace

Argos-Shimano’s Patrick Gretsch set the fastest time for the 53.5km course among the early starters. Almost two hours passed before Luis León Sánchez clipped 38 seconds off Gretsch’s mark, the Spaniard crossing the line in 1:06:03.

The Rabobank rider remained in pole position for another two-and-a-half hours. During that period Peter Velits came closest to Sánchez’s time, finishing 12 seconds down just as Froome and Wiggins were making their final preparations before taking to the start ramp.

There were huge cheers when Wiggins set off down the ramp. Up ahead of Wiggins, Froome and Nibali, best young rider Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) set the fastest time at the first check point, but that mark lasted just a matter of minutes. Froome went through 23 seconds quicker, then Wiggins followed another 12 seconds faster.

By the second check, Van Garderen’s fast start appeared to be taking a toll as he went through fourth fastest. However, by that point the young American had his team leader Evans in his sights and seemed to get a lift as he blasted by the defending champion. Froome also looked to be slipping slightly as he came through just four seconds faster than Sánchez. Wiggins, though, was unstoppable. Now 54 seconds up on Froome, he had his second stage win in his sights.

Wiggins fastest from first to last

Froome picked up his pace again coming into the final quarter of the test. He went through the third time check 22 seconds up on Sánchez. However, Wiggins was still pulling away. Now 1:15 up on his team-mate, he looked as smooth and faultless as ever.

At the line, Froome was not far off catching his three-minute man, Nibali, as he bettered Sánchez’s mark by 34 seconds. But Froome’s lead lasted little more than 90 seconds.

Wiggins powered relentlessly on towards the line, only sitting up out of his tuck in the very final metres to punch the air and celebrate his victory. It had been a superbly judged ride rounding off a fantastic performance over the whole three weeks. Chapeau, Brad!

 

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Full Results
1Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling1:04:13
2Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling0:01:16
3Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team0:01:50
4Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:02:02
5Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling0:02:25
6Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano0:02:28
7Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:02:34
8Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team0:02:46
9Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:02:50
10Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:03:05
11David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:03:12
12Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos - Shimano0:03:20
13Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:24
14Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:03:27
15Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:03:34
16Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:03:38
17Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp0:03:40
18Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:03:43
19Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan0:03:49
20Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-NissanRow 19 - Cell 2
21Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar0:03:56
22Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:03:57
23Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team0:04:05
24Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan0:04:06
25Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale0:04:14
26Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:04:22
27Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:04:24
28Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team0:04:28
29Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:32
31Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:04:37
32Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Sharp0:04:41
33Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:04:53
34George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team0:04:57
35Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan0:05:08
36Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team0:05:09
37Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - Sharp0:05:11
38Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:05:15
39Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team0:05:17
40Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team0:05:25
41Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:05:31
42Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan0:05:32
43Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:05:33
44Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-NissanRow 43 - Cell 2
45Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale0:05:34
46Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:05:35
47Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team0:05:37
48Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:05:38
49Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team0:05:48
50Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:05:49
51Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos - Shimano0:05:53
52Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:05:54
53Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling0:05:55
54Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:06:01
55Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:03
56Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:06
57Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team EuropcarRow 56 - Cell 2
58Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:06:07
59Christian Knees (Ger) Sky ProcyclingRow 58 - Cell 2
60Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:09
61Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:06:12
62Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team0:06:13
64Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar0:06:14
65Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 64 - Cell 2
66Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:06:17
67Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:06:18
68Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling0:06:19
69David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Sharp0:06:22
70Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun0:06:24
71Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos - ShimanoRow 70 - Cell 2
72Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 71 - Cell 2
73Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:06:28
74Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:29
75Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos - Shimano0:06:31
76Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:38
77Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:39
78Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank0:06:41
79Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD0:06:43
80Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:06:44
81Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team0:06:45
82Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling0:06:58
83Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team0:07:01
84Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff BankRow 83 - Cell 2
85Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank0:07:02
86Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - SojasunRow 85 - Cell 2
87Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team0:07:12
89Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 88 - Cell 2
90Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar0:07:14
91Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:07:17
92Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:07:27
93Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:07:32
94Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:07:33
95Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha Team0:07:35
96Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar0:07:39
97Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:07:47
98Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team0:07:48
99Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:07:51
100Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101