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Wiggins wins time-trial to seal TDF win

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.

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. Credit: AP

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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