Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de Romandie with victory in the 16.5km final stage Time Trial, recording a time of 28m 56.6s.
Above: After winning the time trial stage in Crans Montana Switzerland to take the overall Tour of Romandy win, Bradley Wiggins lies sprawled on the floor recovering and is congratulated by his team principle Dave Brailsford (Pete Goding/Pete Goding/Press Association Images)
Wiggins wrested back the advantage from Luis León Sánchez, who had won the previous two stages and edged ahead of the Sky rider on time bonuses. However, Sanchez could not mount a challenge against the clock and finished 83 seconds shy of the winning time.
It was left to American Garmin-Barracuda rider Andrew Talansky to push Wiggins hardest. Talansky claimed second on the stage and was just seven tenths of a second slower than Wiggins and that was good enough for second overall, ahead of Wiggins's Autralian Team-mate Richie Porte.
Wiggins' win came despite a mechanical problem - reported to be a derailed chain - which briefly delayed him only a few minutes into the stage, but showing the sort of confidence which suggests he has moved on to a new level this year, the national road race champion calmly picked up the pace again and rode on to victory.
This was Wiggins' second major stage race win of the season following his victory in Paris Nice in March and cyclingnews.com are reporting that he's the first rider to win both these stage races in a single season for 20 years.
What they said:
Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky Rider:
“It’s really nice to finish it off in a time trial on the last day for the boys.
“I think in terms of pressure I’ve got to grips with that now. But I had a super-strong team this week and they’ve put me in this position going into this final time trial just nine seconds down.
“I think the whole race saw how strong they were this week and without them I wouldn’t have been able to finish the job today. So I’m delighted to win the time trial and seal the GC to pay them back.
“You know you’re in a great team when you’ve got the world champion (Mark Cavendish) riding for you on the front.”
Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Team Principal:
“Obviously Bradley is now demonstrating that he can perform at the highest level in these races, but I think more importantly, from my perspective, is I’m interested in how the overall team performs. Not just the riders but the backroom staff. I’m very pleased with the week in Switzerland.
“We’ve had a flawless performance on the bike. People don’t see it but it’s becoming a well-oiled machine both on the road and off the road. That’s very pleasing and people are really starting to establish themselves in their roles.
“The other key thing was that there was a lot of discussion pre-race about Bradley and Mark riding together. Obviously that has been a positive and I think when you see Mark riding on the front up a second category climb it tells you more than any words can.”
Stage 5 Time Trial 16.5km
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:28:56.60
2 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:00.70
3 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:16.59
4 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:22.84
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:00:40.18
6 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:41.60
7 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:42.88
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:52.17
9 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:53.59
10 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Pro Team Astana 0:00:54.63
Final general classification
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 18:05:40
2 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:12
3 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:36
4 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:45
5 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:00:50