Folsom, CA. –May 12, 2014
The Wig is back! Winning the Amgen Tour of California first time trial in stage two of this great eight-stage race across the
big western state was anticipated and delivered.
Now in Yellow, the Brit is a marked man for the remainder of the stage race.
“You have a plan in your head as to how you imagine you’re going to come out at the end of today, and so far it’s probably a bit better than I imagined,” said Wiggins in the NBC Sports Network telecast. “I think it’s going to be a tough week now. I think tomorrow the race can really start.”
The 2012 Tour de France champion, who won a gold medal that same year in the Olympic Time Trial rode faster than any competitor, and won by a huge advantage, 44 seconds ahead of the second fastest rider, Australian Team Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis who finished third overall in last year’s ATOC.
Team Sky’s Sir Bradley Wiggins took a hiatus of sorts in 2013, skipping out on the Tour de France, which allowed his teammate Chris Froome to prove his own mettle in the big French stage race and scoop up the Yellow jersey.
With a few exceptions, including his win at the Tour of Britian in late September, and coming in second in the World Championship, Wiggins appeared to have broken bones and viruses at every turn, and excused himself from some of the biggest world races— basically kissing 2013 good-bye. It’s anyone’s guess if his first win at the ATOC is the beginning of a great year for him.
Wiggins was the only rider to complete the course in less than 24 minutes for a final time of 23:18, averaging a speed of 32 mph, a full mile per hour faster than Dennis.
On Monday Wiggins became the second British rider to wear yellow this year, with the leader jersey changing hands from Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish, who dropped to 18th place overall after today but retained the Visit California Sprint Leader Jersey. But as Cavendish is a sprinter, and Wiggins an overall racer capable of winning the tour, that change of ownership of the yellow jersey is not unusual.
BMC Racing Team’s Taylor Phinney (USA), an early favorite for today’s stage and tenth overall after yesterday, settled for a strong third place finish (+:52).
“I thought it would be a bit closer but when [Wiggins is] flying, he’s really flying, and he showed that today; kind of in a class of his own. I think I could have had a better result but I gave it everything I had,” said Phinney.
Other jerseys awarded today include the Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey to Team Giant-Shimano’s Lawson Craddock (Austin, Texas), while the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey remains with Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet (FRA) and the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain Jersey remains with Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies’ Will Routley (CAN).