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“Kwiatkowski is a good time trialist so it’s going to be tight. It’s doable, it’s not impossible. I think 11 seconds to Kwiatkowski is going to be touch and go. It just depends what kind of day he is on - I...

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BRADLEY WIGGINS

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR OF BRITAIN

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09.09.2014 @ 19:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bradley Wiggins seemed to be in difficult on the queen stage of the Tour of Britain but managed to limit his losses by finishing the stage in fifth. Sitting 11 seconds behind Michal Kwiatkowski, the defending champion is confident that he can win the race in the final time trial.

 

Bradley Wiggins came home fifth on The Tumble as stage three of the Tour of Britain came down to a tough summit finish.

 

The Team Sky leader was moved into position by his team-mates ahead of the gruelling Welsh climb and dug deep to limit his losses impressively, crossing the line 14 seconds back on the stage winner.

 

David Lopez dropped back selflessly to pace Wiggins back to the lead chase group after Edoardo Zardini and Nicolas Roche had pushed clear on the upper slopes.

 

Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) held on to take an impressive solo victory, finishing nine seconds ahead of nearest challenger Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), who in turn came home two seconds ahead of Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo).

 

As the gradient flattened out Wiggins drove for the line and fifth on the day netted the defending champion the same position overall. With six stages still remaining, the Brit now sits 24 seconds back on Zardini, and 11 on Kwiatkowski, with Lopez sitting sixth on the same time.

 

“The time gap’s not too bad [to Kwiatkowski] and it’s all to play for in London,” Wiggins told Cyclingweekly.co.uk. “I’m in a good place. If it stays pretty close like this until London we will give ourselves a good chance. Eight kilometres doesn’t sound a lot but it’s like a pursuit and that will favour me more than other riders.

 

“Kwiatkowski is a good time trialist so it’s going to be tight. It’s doable, it’s not impossible. I think 11 seconds to Kwiatkowski is going to be touch and go. It just depends what kind of day he is on – I thought he would take more today.

 

“You never know, the time bonuses really change things. But there are still three or four days now [that could change things]. That run-in to Brighton, and Bristol. It could all change. It’s not a foregone conclusion.”

 

After helping Wiggins on the approach to the finale, Ben Swift completed a strong day by retaining the points jersey in Wales.

 

“We wanted to keep Bradley in contention and limit our losses," said Swift. "We all rode well together. There was a bit of a hectic run into bottom of The Tumble and we lost each other a bit, but Bradley did a great job.

 

“It’s going to be tough but after the queen stage here it should return to a more regular format of the yellow jersey team controlling the race. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step did a great job today. We’ll just stick together as a unit.”

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