Tue, May 01, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Wiggins clinches Tour de Romandie despite trouble

AP, CRANS-MONTANA, SWITZERLAND

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins rides in a 16.5km race against the clock at the final stage of the Tour de Romandie cycling race in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Bradley Wiggins took overall victory in the six-day Tour de Romandie on Sunday, after winning the race-ending individual time-trial stage.

Wiggins overcame early mechanical trouble to finish in 28 minutes, 56 seconds for the 16.5km circuit around the ski resort of Crans-Montana.

The British rider was one second faster on Sunday than Andrew Talansky of the US, who climbed to second overall trailing Wiggins by 12 seconds.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Wiggins added the Romandie title to his victory in the Paris-Nice stage race last month, confirming his status as a strong candidate to win the Tour de France in July.

“I think it’s payment for the hard work I’ve put in,” Wiggins told Swiss broadcaster RTS. “I’ve really grafted this winter and hopefully there’s more to come.”

Rui Costa of Portugal finished third overall, 36 seconds behind Wiggins, after placing fourth on Sunday.

Overnight leader Luis Leon Sanchez of Spain held an -advantage of nine seconds on Wiggins after two straight stage wins, but faded against the clock to finish 10th overall.

Wiggins’s Sky teammates Richie Porte and Michael Rogers finished fourth and fifth overall, after the Australian pair were third and seventh fastest respectively in the time trial.

The Sky team leader’s expected push for the yellow jersey was jeopardized when he lost about 15 seconds after his chain worked loose six minutes into a challenging ride.

“It was a true test of a GC [general classification] rider. It had a bit of everything,” said Wiggins, whose gear problems on a previous time trial in Switzerland cost him a medal at the 2009 world championships.

“I’m pleased with how I handled it,” he said. “A few years ago, I might have chucked my toys out of the pram and thrown my bike down a ravine.”

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