This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) blitzed the16km time trial course on stage 3 of the Tour of Britain to move into the overall race lead. The 2012 Tour de France champion completed the course in a time of 19:54, finishing 32 seconds clear of teammate Ian Stannard, and 42 seconds ahead of Garmin-Sharp’s Jack Bauer.
Wiggins’ time was enough to see him move into the race leader’s golden jersey after overnight leader Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) could only manage 34th on the stage, 1:51 down on Wiggins.
Wiggins now leads Ian Stannard by 33 seconds, with Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) in third.
“It’s not been a great season up to now, for one reason or another. But the minute I was not riding the Tour [de France] I was training locally. This was always on my mind and it was great to get out there and do a performance like that after the last two days,” Wiggins said at the finish.
In wet conditions it was Wiggins’ aggression through the technical sections that saw him establish an early lead as he zipped through the opening corners and accelerated out of the saddle at the exit from each apex. His commitment on the slick roundabouts that littered the course, coupled with his improving form, saw him complete the opening half of the time trial in 9:17.
His pre-race competition, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) had started minutes before the Olympic champion and having beaten Wiggins at the Giro d’Italia time trial to Polsa in May was expected to once again challenge. However the Movistar rider, who will line up with Wiggins in the individual time trial at the Worlds next week, was never able to challenge Wiggins' time and finished fourth on the stage.
Earlier on in the day Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF) briefly led. The Italian was eventually edged out by Jack Bauer in a time of 20:36. And when Dowsett and the impressive Nairo Quintana (Movistar) failed to take the lead, only Wiggins and Stannard stood in the New Zealander’s way to a surprise win.
Stannard, having set off before his team leader, was first over the line, 10 seconds ahead of Bauer, but Wiggins was fast approaching the finish and by the time he crossed the line in 19:54 the stage win was secure.