Wiggins wins time-trial to seal TDF win

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Wiggins_time-trial AP Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, crosses the finish line of the 19th stage of the the Tour de France.

Chartres, France – Bradley Wiggins virtually secured his maiden Tour de France victory after winning the penultimate stage time-trial of the race on Saturday.

Wiggins, who took nearly two minutes from defending champion Cadel Evans when he won the stage nine time-trial over 41.5km, went into the 53.5km race against the clock with a 2min 05sec lead over Sky teammate Chris Froome.

And after a smooth, controlled ride over a course that suited him to perfection, the 32-year-old Englishman increased his advantage on the Kenyan-born Briton, who finished second on the stage at 1min 16sec.

It means Wiggins will go into Sunday's final stage to Paris – which usually does not host a battle for the yellow jersey – with an overall lead of 3:21 on Froome.

Barring catastrophe, the Belgian-born Londoner will become Britain's first yellow jersey champion.

Italian Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas capped a solid performance to cement his third place overall. He now sits 6:19 behind Wiggins.

Defending champion Cadel Evans, meanwhile, had another day to forget, the Australian finishing way off the pace to lie seventh overall at 15:51 behind Wiggins. – Sapa-AFP


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