Wiggins consolidates Tour lead
Yesterday's stage was the toughest yet of this years Tour de France and members of Team Sky all worked hard to keep Bradley Wiggins in pole position for the yellow jersey.
Michael Rodgers did an outstanding stint riding hard at the front to keep the pace up for over 30 miles during the middle part of the race and then Chris Froome did his bit to take up the reins on the final climb.
Cadel Evans – who must have the ugliest riding style ever – was distanced on the final climb and lost over a minute and a half on Wiggins and there is no way back for the Australian who doesn't have it in the legs this year.
There are more time trials to come and he will lose more ground there to Wiggins for sure.
There were two interesting sub plots in yesterdays stage.
First was the willingness of BMC rider Vincenzo Nibali to try and attack on the final climb and make a real attempt to eat into the yellow jersey lead.
At one point he sprinted away from the elite riders left climbing the steep slopes as if they were going backwards but was then reeled in by the steady pace setting of Froome.
After the first attack Nibali dropped back and steadily gazed across at Wiggins looking for any sign that the yellow jersey may be feeling the pace.
Again Nibali looks across at Wiggins and you know he is trying to get a rise out of him before again setting off at blistering pace up the hill.
I've tipped Nibali several times in the past to win a "classic" and his time is coming. Team mate Basso is not performing as of old and Nibali is becoming the strongest rider in the BMC team. He is a superb climber and if he can improve his time trial ability he will truly become an elite rider.
At the end of the stage Nibali had managed to climb into the third placed podium spot behind Froome and Wiggins – Nibali you have some balls my friend.
Chris Froome momentarily threw a spanner in the works when with a few kilometres still to climb to the stage finish he suddenly took off and had to be told to back off by the team car.
Was this a hot headed youngster forgetting that he was riding for the team and he genuinely think he has the legs on Wiggins? We will never know but you can be sure that as long as he is made to follow team orders Wiggins is in no danger of losing the yellow jersey.
Only bad luck can deprive Wiggins of a first Tour de France victory.