10th of July 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins admits he is in a "fantastic position" after his impressive stage-nine time trial victory last Monday. But he still fears a comeback from reigning champion Cadel Evans.
"It's a fantastic position to be in but I'm a human, not a machine, and there's always the possibility of a bad day or a crash," said Wiggins. "Cadel is not going to give up before we get to Paris," he added.
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) claimed his first stage victory of the Tour with his time trial success and managed to extend his lead over Australian Evans in the overall classification to a solid one minute and 53 seconds.
Wiggins clocked 51 minutes 24 seconds on the 41.5km route from Arc et Senans to Besancon on Monday, team-mate Chris Froome came in second at 35 seconds, Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara was third, while Evans finished in sixth position.
Wiggins, a the triple Olympic champion, took the yellow jersey on Saturday on the first summit finish in this edition of the Tour and then extended his lead after the time trial. If Wiggins manages to hold on to the yellow jersey until the end he will become the first ever British rider to win the Tour de France.
"I struggled a little bit at that mountain summit the other day when I took the jersey," he said. "I didn't sleep very well that night. I allowed the emotion of taking the jersey to slightly get to me. But that's what it's all about, that's why I do this sport, that's why I love it and that's why I train as hard as I do.
Cadel Evans remains optimistic, with the race set to move into the high mountains before finishing in Paris on Sunday, 22 July. "There's still a lot more racing to be done before Paris," Evans said.
The first big test will be stage 10 on Wednesday: 195km from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, past the Col du Grand Colombier, a 17.4km long climb with a fierce an average gradient of 7.1% and peaks of 12%.
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