Cycling: Chris Froome on track as Bradley Wiggins fights back in Oman
Tour de France winner in the groove after poor first day to help team-mate into strong position
Tuesday 12 February 2013
Sir Bradley Wiggins bounced back from finishing last on Monday's opening stage of the Tour of Oman with a solid performance on the demandingly technical and hilly finale, finishing in a leading group of some 50 riders that crossed the line just behind Sky team-mate Chris Froome.
A relentlessly rising kilometre long drag of a climb, followed a breakneck, curving descent to a nasty sharp little final uphill was tough enough terrain to shatter the peloton. But Wiggins and Froome remained in the thick of the action, with Froome well-placed overall before tomorrow's decisive stage. Both the stage win and the lead went to 2012 Tour de France points jersey winner Peter Sagan after he streaked past late attacker Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. Froome, now designated leader for Sky in Oman, reacted quickly to take sixth, slightly ahead of a front group of strongest riders that included Wiggins.
"It was a good day for us." Wiggins told The Independent afterwards as he wheeled his way through spectators, "A bit tricky in places on that descent and I'm glad I stayed upright. It wasn't too bad. We rode steady most of the day, and it was only in the final that it really hotted up and Chris [Froome] was up there, which was good."
While Wiggins finishing with the bulk of the other top names means he has climbed nearly 90 places overall – but remains two minutes back on Sagan after losing time and finishing last when he was blocked in by a late crash on Monday – Froome was equally satisfied with a performance that has him ideally placed for Thursday.
"The speed we were going up there on the last climb was quite something," Froome told The Independent, "but that climb was hard enough to split the bunch. I was there or thereabouts, and I think I'm right on track. The team did a fantastic job. They kept me out of trouble and out of the wind all day, so I'm happy."
Just 23 but already with 40 career victories to his name, Sagan said afterwards that he was more than content to be leading, but would surely struggle on Thursday's nine kilometre final ascent of the Green Mountain.
"I don't think I can defend the lead, even if I might win on Thursday, because I did last year on the same finish. Green Mountain, though, is a finish for riders like Alberto Contador." And perhaps for Froome, too.
Latest in Sport
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Alexis Sanchez video: Turns out the Arsenal forward is brilliant at playing the piano too
Burnley forward George Boyd has sympathy for Brendan Rodgers - because he struggled with Liverpool on Football Manager
James Milner lives up to 'boring' tag in brilliant Manchester City Christmas video
Sir Alex Ferguson on Jose Mourinho: 'He's good looking, speaks five languages, wins everything - it's unfair'
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...