Felt News

Wiggins Climbs to Third Overall in TDF!

Sunday, July 19, 2009
Switzerland — Garmin-Slipstream rider Bradley Wiggins surprised the contenders in the 2009 Tour de France with an incredible ride in Sunday’s tough Stage 15 race to a summit finish in Verbier, Switzerland. Wiggins finished fifth on the day, 1:06 behind stage winner Alberto Contador of Spain, a result that moved Wiggins up to third overall in the general classification.

Wiggins, a five-time Olympic medalist on the track, has transitioned into one of the world’s top stage racers. With one week left in this year’s Tour, the Brit has emerged as a real threat to make the podium in Paris.

Sunday’s Stage 15, a 207.5km race from Pontarlier, France, to Verbier, Switzerland, was expected to be a showdown among the climbers and overall contenders. Garmin-Slipstream’s Ryder Hesjedal rode aggressively early in the day, joining a 10-man break that went away with 137km remaining.

The break stayed away until the final climb, a Cat. 1 ascent that finished in Verbier. Thanks to solid teamwork, both Garmin-Slipstream GC leaders—Christian Vande Velde and Bradley Wiggins—were perfectly positioned for the final climb. Wiggins proved a bit stronger, but Vande Velde also stayed high in the rankings, finishing the day 12th in the general classification.

Monday is a rest day for the Tour, followed by an exciting final week of mountain stages before next Sunday’s finish in Paris.

Pontarlier to Verbier, 207.5km

1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, 5:03:58
2. Andy Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 0:43
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita), Liquigas, at 1:03
4. Frank Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 1:06
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:06

1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, at 0:06
2. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, at 0:08
3. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:46
4. Andreas Kloden (Ger), Astana, at 2:17
5. Andy Schleck (Lu), Saxo Ban, at 2:26

12. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 3:59