Britain's Wiggins maintains Tour lead with time trial win
BY JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
7/10/12 at 5:38 AM
BESANCON, France - If Monday's time trial at the Tour de France was "the test of truth" - as one top rider called it - then Bradley Wiggins aced it.
The Olympic champion, aiming to be the first British winner of cycling's showcase race, sped to victory in the first big time trial, tightening his grip on the yellow jersey.
"That was my physical best out there," he said. "It's probably my best time trial ever."
The race against the clock is a discipline Wiggins loves. And it showed in the ninth stage, a 25.8-mile ride from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon. He finished 35 seconds ahead of Sky teammate Christopher Froome, the runner-up.
Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia, seen as Wiggins' most formidable rival, was a disappointing sixth. He called Wiggins and Froome "very, very, very strong riders."
Evans was 1:43 behind. He remains second overall, trailing Wiggins by 1:53. Froome rose to third, from sixth, and is 2:07 behind his teammate.
"I was really motivated - the time trial is my thing," Wiggins said, adding he had worked hard on his riding position, breathing and study of the course. "I am very happy now."
After 10 straight days of racing, the pack of 178 riders gets its first rest day Tuesday. The field then faces two hard days in the Alps, including a summit finish Thursday that is likely to shake up the standings on the way to the July 22 finish in Paris.
Original Print Headline: Wiggins maintains control with win
Tour de France: Stage 10
7 a.m. Wednesday
Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides to win the ninth stage of the Tour de France on Monday in Besancon, France. LAURENT CIPRIANI / Associated Press