Giro d'Italia: Winning the Giro is perhaps a little beyond me now, says Bradley Wiggins

Uran's solo success leaves Sky pondering a two-leader approach to the quest for victory

with the Giro d'Italia

The day produced a mixed bag of results for Team Sky in the Giro d'Italia, as Rigoberto Uran took a spectacular solo stage win and moved on to the provisional podium, while Sir Bradley Wiggins slid to more than two minutes behind the increasingly dominant overall leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.

The Londoner remains in contention and in fourth place overall, having lost 37 seconds to Nibali after struggling on the steepest segment of the final 21km climb to Altopiano del Montasio. He was far from the only favourite to lose time: 10th on the stage, Wiggins crossed the finish line ahead of two major contenders, the Netherlands' Robert Gesink and 2011 Giro winner Michele Scarponi.

But Wiggins' time gap to Nibali is verging dangerously close to irreversible. After a week of minor setbacks and time loss after time loss, with only his second place in Saturday's time trial reversing the trend, should the 2012 Tour de France winner suffer another defeat, even a minor one like today's, Wiggins' chance of victory will all but evaporate completely.

"If the win's perhaps a little bit beyond me now, then I'm still fighting 100 per cent to finish on the podium," Wiggins said. "I have a bit of a cold; it's just enough to take the edge off you on a stage like that. You have to be 100 per cent against Nibali and those guys. All in all, we won the stage and I limited my losses on probably the toughest finish in this year's Giro."

As Wiggins pointed out, Sky have emerged from a day of arduous climbing as the Giro's strongest squad, and the way they kept a high pace at the front for most of two major mountain climbs was highly reminiscent of their collective stranglehold on the climbs in last year's Tour. Only Colombian Sergio Henao was not on song, slumping from sixth overall to 12th.

But if Sky were in dominating mood for almost all of the 167km trek across the snow-capped Dolomites, Uran's charge away with 8km to go left Wiggins isolated in the main group of favourites when Nibali and the 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans launched an all-out attack 4km from the finish – and the leadership question in Sky a blurry one.

"It depends how it plays out, really," Wiggins said when asked if he would now help Uran, ahead of him on classification by one second, to win outright. "I'll have to speak to Rigoberto tonight. He went all out for the stage, it's just whether he feels now that he can go for GC too. There's a time trial still to come and he's quite inconsistent; he can have a really good day, win a stage like today and then lose a few seconds tomorrow. So we'll have to see how he feels."

How exactly Sky would play a twohanded game with Uran, strongly rumoured to be leaving the team at the end of the year, and Wiggins is anyone's guess. "We are both strong, Wiggins is in good shape, but we had various cards to play and that's why we were on the front all day," Uran said. But he all but confirmed his bid for a dual team leadership when he said he hoped "a Sky rider" would win overall, rather than automatically stating Wiggins. And as fellow Colombian Carlos Betancur, who finished second on the stage, pointed out: "If Sky hadn't made Rigoberto wait for Wiggins on Friday [when the Briton crashed and was dropped on a descent] he would be in the leader's jersey right now."

Either way, what is undeniable is that Sky remain firmly in the battle for the final victory on 26 May – which is definitely beyond the reach of last year's winner, the Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, now in 33rd place, more than 20 minutes down.

Overall standings after stage 10

1 V Nibali (It) Astana 38:57:32

2 C Evans (Aus) BMC +41"

3 R Uran (Col) Sky +2min 04"

4 B Wiggins (GB) Sky +2' 05"

5 R Gesink (Neth) Blanco +2' 12"

6 M Scarponi (It) Lampre +2' 13"

7 M Santambrogio (It) Vini +2' 55"

8 P Niemiec (Pol) Lampre +3' 35"

9 D Pozzovivo (It) AG2R +4' 17"

10 R Majka (Pol) Saxo +4' 21"

11 B Intxausti (Sp) Movistar +4' 23"

12 S Montoya (Col) Sky +5' 06"

13 T Kangert (Est) Astana +5' 08"

14 C Betancur (Col) AG2R +5' 26"

15 R Kiserlovski (Cro) Radioshack +5' 57"

16 Y Trofimov (Rus) K'sha +6' 08"

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?