Cycling: Bradley Wiggins wins to extend Criterium du Dauphine lead

 

Bradley Wiggins extended his overall lead on the Criterium du Dauphine as he claimed victory on today's stage four time-trial.

The Team Sky rider completed the 53-kilometre run from Villie-Morgon to Bourg-en-Bresse in one hour, three minutes and 12 seconds to beat world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) by a handsome margin of 34 seconds.

Wiggins' Sky team-mate Michael Rogers was third, a further 37 seconds adrift.

Wiggins' success saw the Briton increase his overall advantage to 38 seconds with three stages remaining and underline his Tour de France ambitions.

But it was a bad day for Cadel Evans as the Australian fell from second to fifth in the general classification.

The BMC rider was 1min 43secs slower than Wiggins as Martin and Rogers climbed to second and third respectively, with Sylvain Chavanel in fourth.

Andy Schleck, the 2010 Tour de France winner, did not get a chance to assess his time-trial form as he suffered a fall just 12 kilometres into the stage.

The Radioshack-Nissan rider went down as he rounded a tight right-hand bend in windy conditions.

He quickly got back on his bike but a puncture soon after saw him elect to cruise to the finish, ending with the eighth-slowest time.

Wiggins told reporters: "Maybe this is a message for the Tour, but I'm sure that Cadel will increase his level before the Tour.

"For now, we're at the Dauphine and the Tour is something else. Last year, Cadel was also behind me at the Dauphine.

"I came back here because I won last year. It's the same this year. I want to win again and I have a good team for making it. We've trained for that.

"The boys have proved they're strong enough to support me till the end. These guys have showed their fitness. But there are still three tough days to come the race is only just over half way."

PA

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