Team Sky put in a dominant display at the British National Time Trial championships, with a clean sweep of the podium places in the blue riband event at yesterday’s competition in Llandeilo, South Wales.
Bradley Wiggins finished ahead of team mates Chris Froome in second and Geraint Thomas in third to claim the team’s second shutout of the season. Team Sky had already secured the top three slots at the National Road Race championships in June when Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard took the honours.
And just as Wiggins retained his champion’s jersey in the elite men’s competition, so too did Emma Pooley of the Cervelo Test Team in the corresponding women’s event when she saw off the challenges of Julia Shaw, second, and Wendy Houvenaghel, third.
In the men’s event, the Team Sky trio were the only riders from team's formidable squad competing on the 52km Llandeilo course and it was Froome who set a testing target late in the day, beating the previous best time of Matthew Bottrill (I-Ride.co.uk) by two minutes and 17 seconds.
Geraint Thomas hit the road four minutes later and crossed the finish line just 13 seconds behind his team mate to seal another place on the podium. As reigning champion, Wiggins was the final rider to exit the start gate and clocked a time of 1hr 04min 55sec to retain his title by a margin of 1min 22sec.
So quick was Wiggins that he caught his two minute man, Michael Hutchinson, a dominant rider on the UK’s domestic TT scene in recent years.
Wiggins’ win ensures he will continue to wear his all-white champion's jersey in every time trial he competes in over the next 12 months. “Each year, this event seems to get bigger and bigger," he said. "It’s just a privilege for me to be able to wear this jersey in events like the Tour and I’ll probably be back next year. The course was brilliant and was a proper TT course as opposed to the usual dual carriageway courses."
Emma Pooley too, was impressed with the route. “It was a lovely course, despite a few problems getting stuck behind traffic which was stuck behind riders,” she said. “I had a tussle with one of the elite riders who started behind me, we kept leapfrogging each other along the course, but it wasn’t too bad. I would have liked to have gone up the hill a few more times, as I prefer them to the long drags where I have to concentrate more. "
Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey meanwhile, claimed sixth spot in the women’s elite event, continuing the steady progress towards her goal of competing at both the Paralympic and Olympic Games in 2012.