Bradley Wiggins received a surprise gift today. On his way to trying to win the Tour de France, he won his first stage and with more time than he imagined.

“I didn’t set out to win the stage today. To come away with the stage is great, I was only thinking of the GC,” Wiggins said in the media mix-zone. “To have the stage is just like Christmas when you are a kid. It’s brilliant.”

Wiggins covered the 41.5km in 51-24 minutes in the first of two long time trials in Besançon. He rode 1-43 minutes faster than his nearest GC rival, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).

Evans rode in 53-07 minutes, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) in 53-31 and Chris Froome (Sky) in 51-59. Froome, thanks to his near-winning ride, moved up to third overall and pushed Italy’s Nibali down to fourth.

“My time trial in the Dauphiné was good, I was close to Cadel there,” Wiggins continued. “I thought, if I could get a minute on Cadel here, I’d have a fantastic ride. I did it, I came away with more [time] and the stage win.”

The win was a first for Wiggins, who has competed in six editions of the Tour de France. In 2010, he won the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia and held the leader’s pink jersey for one day.

“I’ve won the stage, which was something I almost forget about. The stage almost became irrelevant, watching Evans, Vincenzo and others,” Wiggins said. “I’m just very pleased with how I put the ride together: the warm up, the noise when I took off – I tried not to let that phase me so not to go out too hard.

“So at the moment, it’s just a relief, I just proud to have done that. Tonight, I’ll put it in context on where I stand on Cadel. At the moment, it’s a lot to take in.”

Tour de France 2012: Latest news



Wiggins lashes out after doping accusations



Evans and BMC out-gunned by Sky in the mountains



Wiggins looking to keep Tour lead until Paris



Froome on Tour stage win: I had the legs and went for it



Martin to lead Garmin in the mountains as Hesjedal withdraws



Dislocated shoulder hinders Greipel sprint



Hesjedal may be out of Tour after Garmin suffer in crash



Stage seven video preview



The Feed Zone: Tour news round-up (July 5)



Celebrating the Tour’s lead-out men



Liquigas’s yellow and green jersey aim at Tour



Brailsford: Sky on the front for Cav and Wiggins


Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



Tour 2012: Who will win?



Tour de France 2012 provisional start list



Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports



Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT



Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks



Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage



Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage



Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades



Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes



Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne



Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory



Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt



Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs



Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles



Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials



CW’s Tour de France podcasts



Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs



Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



Stage nine by Graham Watson



Stage eight by Graham Watson



Stage seven by Graham Watson



Stage six by Graham Watson



Stage five by Graham Watson



Stage four by Graham Watson



Stage three by Graham Watson



Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



Stage six live coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish



Brief history of the Tour de France



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

 

This article is from

Cycling Weekly – In print and online, Cycling Weekly is the best source of breaking news, race reportage, reliable fitness advice, trustworthy product reviews and inspirational features. First published in 1891, the magazine has an amazing and unrivalled heritage, having been at the heart of British cycling for over 120 years.

Subscribe to Cycling Weekly in print » | Read the digital edition »

  • Frank Green

    A bit over the top and over emotional Terry, we have admiration for their achievements but theyre pros and most of us dont know them and nationality is an accident of birth so believe in the people around you. I dont buy the patriot line, we like people because we do not if they come from the same country as we do.

  • Ian Franklin

    I am disgusted with the attitude of some Forum posters – especially in The Clinic on http://www.cyclingnews.com and the attitude of the French. If I were Sky I would seriously seek ways of nullifying these people who write and post this rubbish. I’ve offered to give away my collection of 24 high end bikes and my 500+ cycling books to anyone who can prove to me that Wiggins et al are doping. I think I’ll be hanging on to my bikes and my library for many years to come! Come on Cycling Weekly, if you actually want to do anything for our sport – go on the offensive!

  • Terry

    Just picture for a moment, Brad in yellow, Froomy in spots, Cav in Green on the podium in Paris. Maybe not this year for Cav, but its a real prospect. When it happens I can die happy with that picture going down in the ground with me.
    I never thought I’d see it my lifetime, truly dying and going to heaven.

  • Orlando S

    Pretty sad to notice that 99% of posts at L`Equipe accuse Wiggo & Froomey of doping. I understand French cycling fans` bitterness, but it`s too much. I suggest that any idle British cycling fan who can manage French to go there and try and lend some support for our brave duo.