Bradley Wiggins (Sky) confirmed his solid early-season form by winning the final time trial of the Tour of the Algarve in Portugal on Sunday.
Wiggins beat his time trial nemesis and current World Champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) by just under a second on the 25.8km course to clinch the stage victory – his first win in his first race of the season.
Wiggins’ Sky team-mate Richie Porte placed third on the stage, 13 seconds behind the Brit, to secure the overall race victory. Like Wiggins, the Tour of the Algarve was Porte’s first race of 2012. The Australian rose to the top of the general classification on Friday’s tough mountain stage.
Martin finished in second place overall, 37 seconds behind Porte, with Wiggins in third spot at 44 seconds.
Sky directeur sportif Sean Yates was evidently pleased with the outcome in the Algarve: “You couldn’t have asked for more to be honest,” he said. “We’ve dominated the race. The boys rode fantastic and it is a massive display from the team. It is only early in the season but we’ve beaten some really strong riders here.
“The plan coming into the race was to build on our form. But our form was so good here anyway with the quality athletes we have here we thought we might as well go for the win!”
Wiggins is aiming for the overall classificaton of the 2012 Tour de France, and will also be looking for gold in the Olympic Games time trial event on August 1.
Tour of the Algarve 2012, stage five: Lagoa to Portimao, 25.8km ITT
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky in 32-48
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at same time
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 13 secs
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 14 secs
5. Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan at 14 secs
6. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 29 secs
7. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 39 secs
8. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 53 secs
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 56 secs
10. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 56 secs
Final overall classification
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky in 19-02-43
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 37 secs
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at 44 secs
4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 50 secs
5. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar at 58 secs
6. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan at 1-02
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 1-13
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda at 1-14
9. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 1-33
10. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 1-39