photo credit @ Sporza
Bradley Wiggins claimed the final stage of this year’s Driedaagse De Panne, the individual time trial, after setting the fastest time around today’s 14.2 kilometer route.
Meanwhile, triple stage winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the overall title, after Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing) failed to make up lost ground on the Norwegian rider during today’s ITT.
Kristoff put in an excellent result during today’s race against the clock, setting a time just 18 seconds slower than Wiggins, while Devolder finished 23 seconds down in the final overall classification.
Wiggins’ performance today, had a soaring effect in the overall classification for the Sky rider, moving him up into 3rd spot on the podium.
On the other hand, Kristoff was both surprised and elated over his victory, showing all smiles on the podium.
“I couldn’t win the time trial (to win all four stages) but I did a good time trial. I pushed all the way and got good feedback from the sports directeur. I’m happy, it was maybe my best time trial ever,” Kristoff said.
“I was one sec down on Devolder at half way but I think I did well in the corners and took time back. I was scared before the start but I rode well. I haven’t ridden a lot of time trials, you can perhaps see that but I’m happy with how it went.”
Wiggins charged down the ramp with his usual determination, setting the fastest time at the intermediate time split. From there, the British rider continued his fierce pace, ultimately nailing down a best time of 17.:49, which easily surpassed the fastest times of the day – set earlier by Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) 18:17, Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Etixx-QuickStep) 18:07, and Stefan Kung (BMC) 17:59.
“I think it was one of my first time trials as a professional back in 2002 and it’s probably my last one on this level. So it’s nice to win and it was certainly in my mind today and this week. I really wanted to win this one,” Wiggins said.
“I think I was eleventh the first time I came here and I’ve won here before in 2009. I’ve always liked this time trial, especially when the weather picks up. It felt horrible but I think it was the same for everyone. We raced this morning really early and it never feels like it’s flowing and fresh. Everyone’s trying really hard. I knew there was an opportunity to jump up onto the podium as well.”
photo credit @ Twitter
Stage 3b Results
GBR 1 WIGGINS, Bradley (SKY) 17:49
SUI 2 KUENG, Stefan (BMC RACING) + 10
NOR 3 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA) + 18
BEL 4 VAN KEIRSBULCK, Guillaume (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
BEL 5 DEVOLDER, Stijn (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 19
NZL 6 SERGENT, Jesse (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 28
AUS 7 DURBRIDGE, Luke (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 31
BEL 8 VERMOTE, Julien (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 34
BEL 9 LAMPAERT, Yves (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 35
NED 10 MOURIS, Jens (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 41
Final General Classification
NOR 1 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA) 12:19:10
BEL 2 DEVOLDER, Stijn (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 23
GBR 3 WIGGINS, Bradley (SKY) + 42
SUI 4 KUENG, Stefan (BMC RACING) + 50
BEL 5 DE BIE, Sean (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 58
DEN 6 BAK, Lars Ytting (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 59
AUS 7 DURBRIDGE, Luke (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 1:13
BEL 8 VERMOTE, Julien (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:16
BEL 9 LAMPAERT, Yves (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:17
GER 10 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 1:20
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