Cycling: Wiggins finishes second in Tour de France prologue
Saturday 30 June 2012
Bradley Wiggins got his Tour de France campaign off to a perfect start by finishing second in this afternoon’s prologue, gaining nine seconds on main rival Cadel Evans.
The 99th Tour de France opened with a flat 6.4kilometer time trial through the streets of the Belgium city of Liège and today’s result gives some indication as to the physical condition of the main contenders.
Wiggins showed fine form as he delivered a powerful statement of intent. In the best shape of his life, the Team Sky rider hopes to wrestle the title from defending champion Evans and secure Britain’s first ever Tour de France victory.
It was only in the second half of the time trial that Wiggins looked to be in contention for the win today. Having been six seconds down at the halfway checkpoint, he lifted his pace to finish just 0.42 seconds ahead of Sylvain Chavanel, who held the lead for much of this afternoon.
Wiggins then sat in first place until four-time time trial champion Fabian Cancellara delivered a trademark performance, finishing seven seconds ahead of the Briton.
Cancellara, known as Sparticus for his powerful 82kg build, celebrated his forth prologue victory and will begin stage one in the overall leader’s yellow jersey tomorrow.
His victory seemed inevitable after reigning time trial world champion Tony Martin suffered a puncture. But the Swiss rider’s lead will last only a few days at best, since the overall winner is likely to be decided in the mountains.
Wiggins’ performance today cements his status among the favourites but closest rival Cadel Evans’ also proved himself. There will, no doubt, be the toughest of battles to be had before the Tour reaches its climax in Paris in three weeks time.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers ...
£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an incredible opportunity for a ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...