Criterium du Dauphine

Wiggins clinches Dauphine

Team finish 1-2-4 in overall standings

Last updated: 12th June 2012

Bradley Wiggins finished safely on the final stage to claim back-to-back victories at the Criterium du Dauphine.

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The Brit held on to the yellow jersey which he took on only the second day of racing to secure his third stage race victory of the season by an impressive margin of one minute and 17 seconds.

Following Wiggins home was team-mate Michael Rogers to complete a famous 1-2 at one of the toughest races on the cycling calendar.

The pair were both present on the steep final ramp up to Chatel, along with fellow Team Sky rider Chris Froome, who backed up an already amazing result with fourth overall.

Fourth was also where the team finished on the stage, with Edvald Boasson Hagen making it up the day's tough climbs to demonstrate his current form ahead of contesting the sprint.

Richie Porte had arrived on the front in the closing stages to keep the pace high and he became the fourth Team Sky man in the top 10 in ninth. That show of strength ensured a commanding victory in the team classification by 13:34.

Final test

After the race Wiggins reflected on his and the team's achievement. "I think it's always harder to do it a second time," he admitted.

"Last year I didn't come into the race as the favourite so to do that this year and know from day one, from being second in the prologue, that I was one of the favourites, it's a better and harder way to win.

"Obviously we've had a few goes at it now so I think we're getting better at it if anything. It's probably gone better than the other races have gone this season, it's been a lot smoother."

Wiggins also paid tribute to the incredible support from the team and riders around him, adding: "Obviously everyone is getting ready for the Tour now. We had our strong guys here and Eddy's back in this group and he's made a huge difference this week.

"It's certainly getting easier each time, not in terms of the effort but in terms of staying cool at the right moments and knowing what to do and when to do it."

Race winner

In Chatel it was Daniel Moreno (Katusha) who edged out Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) on the line to take his second stage victory of the prestigious race.

Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), lying third overnight, had looked threatening in the closing stages but was unable to take enough time to dislodge compatriot Rogers from second spot.

Katusha and BMC Racing pushed hard in the closing stages to shut down the remains of the day's break, Jerome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) having proved strongest on the stage's major test, the Col du Corbier.

Earlier a number of groups attacked off the front following a fast descent out of Morzine, nine riders eventually combining out on the road ahead of five categorised climbs.

With such a short stage it was no surprise to see the move quickly pegged at a maximum advantage of 2:35 and the gap shut further on the run to the first category Corbier.

Wiggins was once again surrounded by team-mates on the climb before confidently moving up to shut down a move which had pushed clear.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) was one of those who tried to go clear late on, using his descending skills to pull out a gap off the Corbier but was eventually overhauled along with the remnants of the break.

Hard work pays off

After the stage Sports Director Sean Yates summed up the feelings of the team after a fantastic event and Team Sky's sixth stage race victory of 2012.

"It's been a great effort by the team and a fantastic week. We couldn't have asked for more," he said.

"We came into the race with a clear plan which was to try and win it and obviously Bradley came up with the goods which was mighty impressive. He had a fantastic team to back him up.

"The final stage panned out just as we wanted it. The parcours dictated what would happen. It was just a question of keeping your fingers crossed that there were no incidents of any kind which would put a spanner in the works. From a physical level it was never going to be a problem."

Attention now turns to the Tour de France which kicks off in less than three weeks' time, with Wiggins and the team proving they will be among the favourites.

Yates added: "The Tour de France is on the horizon. It's a lot more complicated as a race but we're where we want to be, in a good position and looking forward to it.

"The riders need to recover from this and keep the legs turning. You're not going to improve your condition between here and the Tour. It's only around the corner. Going in as one of the favourites is going to be a lot of hard work."

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