- Criterium du Dauphine, Stage Four
Wiggins storms to time trial win
Bradley Wiggins extended his Criterium du Dauphiné lead after winning the stage four individual time trial and laid down the gauntlet to defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans before the race heads for the Alps.
German world time trial champion Tony Martin finished second in the 53.5-km individual time trial from Villie-Morgon, 34 seconds off the pace of the Team Sky rider, with Wiggins' team-mate Michael Rogers 1min 11sec behind in third.
Wiggins, setting off last as leader after stage three, now leads Martin by 38 seconds and threatened to overtake Evans, who began the day one second behind Wiggins in second place but almost saw his two-minute stagger entirely eroded by the Briton as he ended back in fifth, 1min 44sec behind the Team Sky rider.
Wiggins was delighted with the win but warned against reading too much into his duel with Evans ahead of the Tour de France.
"Cadel Evans is a champion, his level will go up for the Tour," Wiggins said. "For now I'm concentrating on the Dauphiné."
Evans was also relegated by 21-year-old revelation Wilco Kelderman, who led the stage for some time and ended up just 1min 26sec behind Wiggins in fourth. But Tour contender Andy Schleck suffered another blow to his preparations for July after crashing on a right hand bend. He eventually finished 10min 47sec back.
After the individual battles of the opening stages, the action now turns to the team-based Alpine climb tests. The final three days see the Criterium field tackle the 187-kilometre fifth stage from Saint Trivier-sur-Moignans to Rumilly, the 167-kilometre Saint Alban Leysse to Morzine and the final 126-kilometre stage from Morzine to Chatel.
Stage Four result
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling - 1:03:12
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:00:34
3 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling - 0:01:11
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team - 0:01:26
5 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:01:33
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) - Sky Procycling
7 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge - 0:01:38
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team - 0:01:43
9 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Barracuda - 0:01:51
10 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team - 0:01:54
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling - 14:11:07
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:00:38
3 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling - 0:01:20
4 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:01:38
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team - 0:01:44
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team - 0:01:45
7 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling - 0:01:48
8 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Barracuda - 0:02:00
9 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team - 0:02:02
10 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team - 0:02:18