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Bradley Wiggins: Team Sky trained for today
Jul 19th, 12. While Thomas Voeckler was up front soloing to victory, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome moved another step closer to sealing a Tour de France 1-2 for Team Sky.
The pair covering off a dangerous move from Vincenzo Nibali in the tough, hot day in the Pyrenees.
The Italian (Liquigas-Cannondale) made his dig on the final climb of the Col de Peyresourde, accelerating away from a reduced peloton on the steep Cat 1 ramps.
Wiggins and Froome were the only riders to react, and the British duo worked together to shut down the threat on what proved to be a brutal mountain stage.
The trio rode into the finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon together after solidifying their podium positions over their rivals on a scorching day in Southern France. Behind them, defending champion Cadel Evans suffered and lost nearly 5min to his rivals – ending his hopes of a repeat Tour win.
Up ahead Voeckler (Europcar) spent the day in the break before taking his second solo stage victory of the race, fending off Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) by 1min40sec for another famous victory, sealing the polka dot jersey and the day’s Most Aggressive Rider prise in the process.
Wiggins credits the team's pre-Tour training
“The team were brilliant from the off and we knew what we had to do,” said Wiggins who has led the Tour since Stage 7.
‘It was just a case of doing what we’ve been doing since the start of this race which is riding together as a team. It was another tough one, and obviously there weren’t many bodies left at the end. It’s good to get that one out of the way.
“This is what we’ve trained for and that’s what we’ve prepared for. We’ve trained for the demands of this race and for the demands of what this race consisted of in the third week.
"I think that’s what makes us the best riders in this race. All year it’s been about this and training in this kind of heat and for these climbs. The fitness and the recovery has been a team effort. The backroom staff - with the hydration when the stages finish and those little things all add up over the three weeks.
“(Vincenzo) Nibali was really concentrating on his podium spot today and I think he really wanted to distance Cadel (Evans) before the final time trial which he did. It was tough but it’s another day we can tick off.
“On paper tomorrow’s stage doesn’t look as hard as it was today. It’s certainly a lot shorter and there will be a lot of tired bodies out there after today. It’s a case of people recovering and who recovers best at this stage.
“The one thing I keep saying is that no one has it easy out there. We’re all in the same boat and we all have to do the same course and tomorrow is another day.”
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