Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) returned to his very best form to win the final stage of the 2013 Tour of Poland.
The Londoner produced an emphatic victory against the clock on the road to Krakow to see off a world class field, 367 days since his last victory, when he won the men’s Olympic time trial.
Wiggins tore up the marker laid down by four-time world time trial champion, Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) who finished second, losing nearly a minute to the Olympic champion on a 37km course.
Team Sky’s directeur sportif, Dan Hunt, said Wiggins had made a “massive statement”. The Londoner will target victory in the world time trial championships in Florence next month.
“It was a real lesson in how to time trial,” Hunt said. “We went out this morning and researched the course and it was obvious that it suited Brad. The climbs suited him, the descents suited him and then it was a flying, rolling run-in into Krakow. He absolutely smashed it.
“We had been looking at Cancellara to see how he was going, but you never know. But Bradley rode his own race, didn’t think about anyone else and won by nearly a minute. That is an impressive performance whichever way you look at. It definitely confirms where his condition is.”
Wiggins will race at the Eneco Tour, a seven stage race in Belgium from August 12 to 18, and at next month’s Tour of Britain in further preparation for the world championships.
Peter Wiening (Orica-GreenEDGE) claimed overall victory after finishing sixth in the time trial, 1.44 behind Wiggins.
The Dutchman displaced Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at the top of the general classification to claim the biggest victory of his career – his first in cycling’s elite WorldTour.
Weening admitted that he hadn’t considered overall victory while racing in the time trial, but had merely attempted to post the best time possible against the clock. It was left to a race official to tell him he had won the seventieth Tour of Poland.
“Someone affiliated with the race organisation was standing near me,” Weening said.
“He had a race radio, and he was the one to deliver the good news. When he told me I had done it, I was pretty happy right away. This was a big goal.”
Tour of Poland 2013: stage seven – result
1) Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) – 46.36
2) Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) +56″
3) Taylor Phinney (USA) – BMC Racing +1.14
4) Marco Pinotti (ITA) – BMC Racing +1.20
5) Kristof Vandewalle (BEL) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +1.40
6) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE +1.44
7) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Euskaltel-Euskadi +2.05
8) Dominik Nerz (GER) – BMC Racing +2.13
9) Sergei Chernetckii (RUS) – Katusha +2.15
10) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +2.17
1) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 31.58.07
2) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Euskaltel-Euskadi +13″
3) Christophe Riblon (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +16″
4) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +26″
5) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky +51″
6) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Movistar – ST
7) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.14
8) Ivan Basso (ITA) – Cannondale +1.38
9) Tanel Kangert (EST) – Astana +2.35
10) Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) +2.50