Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) has won Friday’s individual time trial stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia, and taken the race lead from team-mate Chris Sutton.
Wiggins was outright favourite to win the penultimate stage of the race, and certainly delivered the result, clocking a time of 13 minutes and eight seconds over the compact 10km TT course in Geelong. It gave the US team its fourth consecutive victory after Sutton’s hat-trick of stage wins.
Just to show how much Garmin are all over the race, Svein Tuft was second to Wiggins in the TT, 14 seconds behind the British rider.
Garmin now has three riders in the top five overall: Wiggins leads, with Sutton second at five seconds and Tuft in fourth at 39 seconds. Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) looks like the only man able to spoil the Garmin party, he sits in third place overall at 32 seconds.
With only five seconds separating them in the GC, the dilemma for Garmin is which rider to back for the win. Sutton and Wiggins are close friends, having been room mates years ago when both rode for Cofidis.
Both riders also have strong personal reasons to want the overall win – Sutton’s father, Gary, won the race 25 years ago, and the Sun Tour was one of the last professional races that Wiggins’ father took part in.
Saturday’s final stage of the 2009 race is a criterium around Melbourne, which will almost definitely conclude with a sprint finish. Sutton has proved he is the fastest man in a bunch gallop at the race, and ranks as the favourite for the win – which would give him enough bonus second to usurp Wiggins at the top of the table.
It’s going to be very close.
Jayco Herald Sun Tour 2009: Stage five, Geelong ITT, 10km
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream in 13-08
2. Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin-Slipstream at 14secs
3. Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly at 32secs
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Jayco Australia at 43secs
5. Benjamin Day (Aus) Fly V Australia at 44secs
6. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream at 48secs
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco Australia at same time
8. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling at 57secs
9. Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Porsche at 1-01
10. Philip Zajicek (Aus) Fly V Australia at 1-06
Overall classification after stage five
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream in 14-24-32
2. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream at 5secs
3. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Fly V Australia at 32secs
4. Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin-Slipstream at 39secs
5. Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly at 41secs
6. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Jayco Australia at 1-53
7. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling at 2-02
8. Philip Zajicek (Aus) Fly V Australia at 2-06
9. Aaron Kemps (Aus) Rock Racing at 2-12
10. Nick Aitken (Aus) Jayco Australia at 2-25
19. Simon Richardson (GB) Rapha-Condor at 6-06
Stage four: Sutton scores hat-trick
Stage three: Wiggins poised for place on Sun Tour podium
Stage two: Wiggins fifth overall in Sun Tour
Stage one: Bradley Wiggins fourth in Sun Tour opener
Bradley Wiggins: Rider Profile