NICE, France (VN) — Bradley Wiggins put a resounding stamp on the 2012 Paris-Nice, winning the final-stage uphill time trial Sunday over second overall Lieuwe Westra.
Wiggins (Sky) was last out of the start house for the 9.6km finale to Col d’Èze, on France’s Mediterranean coast. Resplendent in his yellow skinsuit, Wiggins climbed his way to the biggest GC win of his career.
“That was hard! That was extremely difficult. I was climbing well, but I knew it was going to be close. I had to give everything I had to win,” said Wiggins. ”It means a lot to win such an historic race. To join Tom Simpson as the only other British rider [to win Paris-Nice] is special. It’s an honor to have Paris-Nice on my palmares.”
Entering the day six seconds down on Wiggins, Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) had to ride the TT of his life. The Dutchman bettered previous leader Jean Christophe Peraud (Ag2r La Mondiale), but came up just short, losing two seconds to Wiggins.
Westra maintained his second-place overall when Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) lost almost a minute.
“Bradley was stronger today. I lose two seconds in the time trial; he was stronger,” said Westra. “It’s unbelievable. I was never so strong as this week. For me and for the team it was a great week.”
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) was the top American in the final general classification, in fifth.