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A week ahead of the Worlds, Olympic champion is only rider to go sub-20 minutes

Olympic time trial champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, who a week tomorrow will seek to add the world title in Tuscany, was the only rider to go below 20 minutes in the individual time trial on Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain today. The Team Sky rider clocked a time of 19:54:20 and also takes over the race leader's gold jersey from MTN-Qhubeka's Gerald Ciolek, who went almost 2 minutes slower.

Wiggins' time on the 16.1km course at Knowsley Safari Park was 32 seconds quicker than that set by the next-fastest man, team mate Ian Stannard. Garmin-Sharp's Jack Bauer was 10 seconds further back in third place.

Movistar's Alex Dowsett, British champion for the past three years and who beat Wiggins to take his first Grand Tour stage win in an individual time trial at the Giro d'Italia in May, caught the rider in front of him, former Sky team mate Mat Hayman, with just under a kilometre to go but was nearly a quarter of a minute slower than virtual leader Bauer when he crossed the line.

On a third successive day of Britain's biggest race being ridden on wet roads, although today at least the rain held off for the later starters, UnitedHealthcare rider Philip Deignan, joining Team Sky next season, is reported to have broken his collarbone after crashing.

Tomorrow's Stage 4 takes the race from England into Wales, running from Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis

After his win, Wiggins, who had started the dy 30 seconds behind Ciolek, said: "I've made no secret that I really want to do well in this race. I had to win today, whatever.

"The conditions weren't ideal for me, but I thought I'd rather end up in hospital today than be beaten, so it was 100% commitment.

"I didn't flinch on the roundabouts in the wet, and fortunately the hospitals are close to where I live, so my wife could have visited me. I knew that...I was prepared to end up in hospital than lose the race today. It went perfect.

"We're in a great position”, he went on. "Yesterday I was quite worried about Gerald Ciolek, because if he takes time bonuses every day, Edvald Boasson Hagen won this race [in 2009] like that.

"He's [Ciolek] a good climber, and I thought it would be difficult, but I've taken a nice chunk of time out of him today, and hopefully that's enough.”

With five stages left, including some tough climbs in Wales as well as a summit finish, Wiggins isn't taking anything for granted.

"It's always going to be difficult," he admitted. "I don't expect it to be easy. There are time bonuses at the end of each day, but we've got a strong team. We took responsibility from the start, and we're here to win.

"I've wanted to win this race for a few years, and having done the Tour and the Vuelta for the past few years, I've never had the opportunity to do it."

He rode the race last year, effectively as a lap of honour to enable home fans to applaud his successes earlier in the summer.

"I was in no condition last year to ride the race after the Tour and Olympics," he confessed.

"At this time of the year it's nice to be in great shape to compete well in this race. Every year this race gets more prestigious, gets the more kudos.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

18 comments

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Goldfever4 [218 posts] 2 years ago
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Pretty impressive, looking forward to the Worlds!

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themartincox [488 posts] 2 years ago
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Do you think Bauer was telling himself to hurry cos 'dammit, i'm running out of time!'

i'll get my coat

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zedbedboy [26 posts] 2 years ago
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Is your Tour of Britain logo a year out of date?
Just wondering why the "12" in the logo.

I must get a life and be less observant!
 26

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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Definitely looking in good form for the Worlds

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herohirst [71 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm glad to "be glad" for Brad but if he hadn't won today in (no disrespect to them) this company then he might as well have not even bothered getting on the plane to Italy.

To be honest, I expected him to win today but though he would take it by a fairly massive margin; Tony Martin's stunning escape at the Vuelta showed what outstanding form he's in right now.

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 2 years ago
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Clearly doping, no doubt about it. No-one can go that fast, on two wheels, in the wet, with that weight loss, with mechanical gears. With a helmet on, sitting on a saddle........

Just thought I'd stir it up, Horner style replies  105

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shot18 [55 posts] 2 years ago
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Disagree herohirst, that's not bad company at all, but disappointed Alex Dowesett didn't do better.

And Cav in tenth?? Must have been a very short TT!

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daddyELVIS [655 posts] 2 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

Clearly doping, no doubt about it. No-one can go that fast, on two wheels, in the wet, with that weight loss, with mechanical gears. With a helmet on, sitting on a saddle........

Just thought I'd stir it up, Horner style replies  105

hehe - he's looking heavier than his crazy low weight at the 2012 TdF, therefore most likely clean now.

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 2 years ago
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shot18 wrote:

Disagree herohirst, that's not bad company at all, but disappointed Alex Dowesett didn't do better.

And Cav in tenth?? Must have been a very short TT!

It was only a 10 mile TT, bread and butter to British cyclists.

You have to remember, Cav has been in training with Tony Martin for TTT's, so he can hang on to the tail and not get dropped. So his TT is coming on a great deal

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daddyELVIS [655 posts] 2 years ago
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herohirst wrote:

Tony Martin's stunning escape at the Vuelta showed what outstanding form he's in right now.

Gutted Martin got caught at the line on that stage - hope he wins the World TT for that amazing solo day at the Vuelta!

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700c [851 posts] 2 years ago
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Good effort by Wiggo today.

Haters gonna hate, that's what they say isn't it  37

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Simon E [2610 posts] 2 years ago
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Cavendish wasn't too shabby in short TTs in the first place.

While Brad stamped his authority on the stage, as he should, the conditions and distance will have not really given a real indication of anything much.

If Brad is training for TTs properly then the weight gain will be thanks to increased cake consumption. All testers know that scoffing cake is the real purpose of time trialling. Let's hope the Italians know how to put on a good spread and make a decent cuppa.

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herohirst [71 posts] 2 years ago
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Agreed, thought Dowsett would go faster.

Having now watched the footage on ITV I do retract my initial reaction somewhat; that was a wet greasy course and Brad nailed it. As Ritchie Porte would say, it took "A Pair Of Swingers" to ride like that today. Chapeau Brad.

(Still think he's got it all to do to beat Tony Martin though...)

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Moylj1 [8 posts] 2 years ago
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Martin Elmiger is a bit of a rising star. Winner of the Tour du Limousin against some decent riders and doing well here too.

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bauchlebastart [92 posts] 2 years ago
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With the Worlds coming up, I really don't think he was prepared to end up in hospital yesterday.

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Al__S [998 posts] 2 years ago
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Of course he wasn't really prepared to go to hospital- but he seems to be in a relaxed, happy state of mind where he can feed these lines to the press corps and know that they'll be lapped up.

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JAndrewHill [1207 posts] 2 years ago
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I was there, and it was getting drier as each rider left the start tent....well the drizzle stopped after about rider thirty.

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dp24 [201 posts] 2 years ago
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The roads were still very wet though - quite a few riders went wide on the left-hander with about 3.5km to go. That's where Deignan crashed out.