Criterium du Dauphiné stage four: Wiggins romps to time trial victory

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Criterium du Dauphiné – stage four: Wiggins romps to time trial victory to extend overall lead

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) delivered a psychological blow ahead of the Tour de France by romping to victory in the individual time trial at the Criterium du Dauphiné, with defending Tour champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) one minute and 43 seconds off the pace.

Bradley Wiggins powers to victory

Wiggins blitzed the 53km course in 1:13.12 hours to claim a resounding victory, with world time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 34 seconds adrift in second place. Wiggins’ Sky team-mate Michael Rogers completed the podium, one minute and 11 seconds back.

Vuelta a Espana runner-up Chris Froome, expected to play a key role in supporting Wiggins at the Tour de France, finished sixth.

And David Millar ensured there were three Brits in the top ten by claiming ninth, marking his return to form from injury and providing Great Britain’s selectors with a timely reminder as to his ability ahead of the Olympic Games.

Wiggins, the defending Criterium du Dauphiné champion, now leads the general classification by 38 seconds, with Martin rising to second overall, while Evans falls to fifth ahead of three mountain stages.

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE), winner of the opening prologue, set the best time from the early starters before Rabobank neo-pro Wilco Kelderman, fresh from finishing seventh overall at the Tour of California, went 12 seconds quicker.

Rogers, who won the Bayern-Rundfahrt stage race last month, then removed the Dutchman from the hot seat. Rogers is three times a world time trial gold medallist, winning the title in 2003, 2004 and 2004, but it was the current champion, Martin, who then powered to the top of the standings.

Wiggins now leads the general classification by 38 seconds

But Wiggins produced a superbly-paced ride, coming from 11 seconds down at the first check point to deliver a dominant performance, almost catching Evans, who started two minutes in front and who is Wiggins’ main rival for the Tour de France title in July.

The race now heads into the Alps, giving the Tour’s general classification contenders the chance to recce some of this year’s key climbs. Having proved his prowess against the clock, Wiggins now has the opportunity to test his form in the mountains.

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Criterium du Dauphiné stage four – result

1) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky – 1:03:12 hours
2) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep – +34″
3) Michael Rogers (AUS) – Team Sky +1’11”
4) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Rabobank +1’26”
5) Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +1’33”
6) Christopher Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – same time
7) Luke Durbridge (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE +1’38”
8) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing +1’43”
9) David Millar (GBR) – Garmin-Barracuda +1’51”
10) Luis-Leon Sanchez (SPA) – Rabobank +1’54”

General classification

1) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky 14:11:07 hours
2) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +38″
3) Michael Rogers (AUS) – Team Sky +1″20′
4) Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +1’38”
5) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing +1’44”
6) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Rabobank +1’45”
7) Christopher Froome (GBR) – Team Sky ‘1’48”
8) David Millar (GBR) – Garmin-Barracuda +2’00”
9) Luis-Leon Sanchez (SPA) – Rabobank +2’02”
10) Andriy Grivko (UKR) – Astana +2’18”

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