Wiggins stars at Tour, Evans slumps
Bradley Wiggins confirmed he will become the first British Tour de France champion as the bottom fell out of Cadel Evans’ title defence.
Wiggins won the 53.5km time trial on Saturday from Bonneval to Chartres in an hour four minutes and 13 seconds, a minute and 13 seconds ahead of Sky teammate and compatriot Chris Froome.
The British star has a lead of 3:21 over Froome with only Sunday’s traditional final Paris stage to come.
But Evans had a nightmare day, finishing 52nd in a discipline where he usually excels.
He dropped one place to seventh on the overall standings, 15:51 behind Wiggins, and that will be his final position.
Evans took the yellow jersey from Andy Schleck in the same time trial stage last year, going on to become the first Australian Tour champion.
This time American teammate Tejay van Garderen, who started three minutes behind Evans, passed him at the 30km mark.
Evans, who suffered from stomach problems earlier this week, finished the stage a whopping 5:54 behind Wiggins.
His poor performance will inevitably raise questions about whether he can perform at the London Olympics.
Evans is a member of the five-man Australian team for the July 28 road race.
He and Michael Rogers were picked to ride the individual time trial on August 1.
“It’s actually support in the bad times that you need, so thanks to everyone,” Evans said to a large group of Australian fans who gathered around the BMC team van at the finish.
“This year, obviously, it’s been an off year and now I look back at it, I had an off year (in) 09, 10 – it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
“But of course I went in with really high expectations and then as the race went on, my chance lessened and lessened and I had to adjust to that.
“Then by the time today came, I was just hoping to hold my place on GC (general classification) – I started the day empty.”
The best-placed Australian on the stage was Wiggins’ teammate Richie Porte, who was fifth at 2:25.
Van Garderen was seventh at 2:34 and improved one place to fourth overall.
He will also win the young rider category.© AAP 2013
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