GRENOBLE (AFP) — HTC Highroad’s Tony Martin won Wednesday’s 42.5 kilometer time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. Sky’s Bradley Wiggins was second on the stage, finishing 11 seconds back, and took over the race lead, with a comfortable margin over Cadel Evans (BMC).
Heavy rain had left parts of the course wet and slippery, but the demanding conditions failed to stop Martin.
The 26-year-old, who also won the time trials in the Paris-Nice in March and the Tour of the Basque Country in April, ripped up the circuit at an average of 46kph, just edging out the Briton.
Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen, Wiggins’ Sky teammate, finished third over 30 seconds behind Wiggins with another time-trial specialist, American David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo), chasing down his tail in fourth.
Evans came in sixth, 19 seconds behind the Slovenian Janez Brajkovic (Team RadioShack) and more than a minute behind Martin.
Wiggins now has a 1:11 lead over Evans who is another 10 seconds in front of Brajkovic.
Overnight leader Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) slipped back to fourth in the overall standings, losing more than two minutes on the time trial.
The same route will be used for the penultimate stage of the Tour de France on July 23.
Thursday’s fourth stage of the Dauphiné will cover the 173.5km from La Motte-Servolex to Macon.
- 1. Tony Martin (GER), HTC-Highroad, 55:27
- 2. Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Team Sky, at 0:11
- 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Team Sky, at 0:43
- 4. David Zabriskie (USA), Garmin-Cervelo, at 0:58
- 5. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Team RadioShack, at 1:17
- 1. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain), Team Sky, 8:41:37
- 2. Cadel Evans (Australia), BMC Racing Team, at 1:11
- 3. Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia), Team RadioShack, at 1:21
- 4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan), Astana, at 1:56
- 5. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Portugal), Movistar, at 2:12