Bradley Wiggins impresses by inspiring Sky team-mate Sergio Henao to second


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The Independent Online

Sir Bradley Wiggins helped Sky team-mate Sergio Henao to second place overall in the Tour of Poland as Christophe Riblon reprised his Tour de France victory on the Alpe d’Huez to take the stage win in Passo Pordoi Val di Fassa on Sunday.

AG2R La Mondiale rider Riblon, the sole French stage winner in this year’s Tour, broke clear eight kilometres from the summit finish and led from Thomas Rohregger by more than a minute as he took the victory.

However, it was not quite enough to see him take the overall lead of the race, which instead passed to Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka, Riblon settling for third place behind Henao, although only six seconds separate the first three.

Wiggins, who is continuing his  recovery from the knee injury which ended his hopes of defending his Tour de France title this summer, shepherded Henao to the foot of the final climb before peeling off, coming home 53rd more than 15 minutes back. “It was a super ride by Sergio today, supported really well by Brad – right up until the last climb,” the Team Sky sports director, Dan Hunt, said on the team’s website.

“Sergio looked really strong and he’s in a great position now. He was able to sit in the front group and not expend lots of energy like he did yesterday. That meant he could finish strong.”

Meanwhile, former sprinter Erik Zabel has admitted to years of  doping, including EPO, cortisone and blood doping, days after he was named in a French Senate inquiry as a drugs offender.

Zabel who won the Tour de France’s green jersey six times until his retirement in 2008, said he had used banned drugs and illegal methods from 1996 until 2003. “When you take everything together – EPO, cortisone and even blood doping, then it’s quite a lot,” the German said.