Bradley Wiggins won the individual time trial stage of Bayern Rundfahrt in Germany on Saturday, with Sky team-mate and fellow Brit Geraint Thomas finishing fifth and taking the overall lead.
British time trial champion Wiggins beat pre-stage favourite Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) by 30 seconds to take the 26km stage against the clock in Friedberg. Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen was third.
Thomas started the day in second place overall behind Swiss rider Michael Albasini (HTC-Highroad), but the Welshman’s superior time trialling skills have now moved him into the race lead with just one stage remaining.
Thomas sits 19 seconds ahead of Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) overall, with Albasini now in third spot 23 second adrift of Thomas.
Sky have to defend Thomas’s lead throughout Sunday’s undulating 162km final stage from Friedberg to Moosbach before he can take his first major stage race win.
Bayern Rundfahrt 2011, stage four: Friedberg ITT, 26km
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky in 30-08
2. Fabian Cancellara (GB) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 33 secs
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 46 secs
4. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 51 secs
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1-04
6. Nicki Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 1-18
7. Yohan Offredo (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 1-20
8. Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 1-24
9. Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) HTC-Highroad at 1-28
10. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Highroad at 1-34
Overall classification after stage four
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
2. Nicki Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 19 secs
3. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Highroad at 23 secs
4. Biel Kadri (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1-23
5. Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-26
6. Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) Skil-Shimano at 1-46
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 1-47
8. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Francaise des Jeux at 1-53
9. Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen at 2-11
10. David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-ISD at 3-25
12. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 4-20
Bradley Wiggins in flying form
Geraint Thomas in overall lead
Thomas second in Bayern Rundfahrt stage three