Wiggins strengthens grip on Tour de France after time trial success
July 10, 2012 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Bradley Wiggins celebrates after a dominant performance saw him take control of the Tour de France
- Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins wins stage nine of the Tour de France
- Wiggins retains yellow jersey with dominant performance on time trial leg
- Briton now leads main rival Cadel Evans by one minute and 53 seconds
- Wiggins' teammate Chris Froome moves up to third in overall standings
(CNN) -- Bradley Wiggins produced a dominant performance to win stage nine of the Tour de France and edge nearer to a first ever victory in cycling's most prestigious race.
The Briton was 35 seconds quicker than his nearest challenger on the 41.5km time trial leg between Arc et Senans and Besancon, finishing in 51 minutes and 24 seconds.
It meant he struck a potentially decisive blow to his main rival, Australian Cadel Evans, who now trails Wiggins by one minute and 53 seconds in the overall classification after finishing in sixth place.
Wiggins' Team Sky colleague Chris Froome finished the stage in second and has now jumped up to third in the overall picture, 14 seconds behind BMC Racing's Evans.
It leaves Sky in a healthy spot with a rest day to follow on Tuesday, Wiggins underlining his pre-race tag as the strong favorite.
Bradley Wiggins, left, celebrates on the finish line with teammate Michael Rogers of Australia after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France on Sunday, July 22, in Paris.
Tour de France 2012: The best photos
Pre-race favorite Bradley Wiggins has been training in Mallorca ahead of his bid to win the Tour de France for the first time.
Tour de France's international invasion
After denying the allegations for years, cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and an Olympic bronze medal. Click through the gallery for a look at his life and career.
Photos: Lance Armstrong's rise and fall
"Time-trialling is what I do best," he told reporters. "I know exactly the routine I need to do. I felt great from the first pedal stroke and I knew I was in for a good one.
"We came here and did a good reconnaissance of the course, which has lots of little bends and is quite technical at the finish.
"This is what we have trained for. The graft during the winter, missing the kid's birthday having been at training camps, this is what it is for. To get the stage win is fantastic."
With the Tour now moving into the Alps, Wiggins is now the leading contender to take his first ever Tour de France win, with such a big lead to protect.
But he said: "It's another day at the Tour but there's a long way to go. After the rest day it will be a whole different ball game. And anything can happen, a bad day or a crash, so let's just take it a day at a time."
It was also a big day for Froome, who catapulted himself into contention with a powerful ride. Team Sky now have options as they enter the mountain phase of the Tour.
Froome told reporters: "There is no tactics in something like today. This is by far the hardest event in cycling. You just have to go as fast as you can and turn yourself inside out to get the best time.
"It is good to know you are on track for a good time, but you have to be careful you do not overcook it so it is a fine line to gauge that effort.
"I am really happy with today and I went hard at it. That is all I can do. I know I haven't won so there are no big celebrations, but there will be for Bradley."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
He admits to having a "f**k you" attitude, but Lance Armstrong insists he "never gets crap" following his long-awaited admission of long-term doping.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1017 GMT (1817 HKT)
CNN's Alex Thomas talks to CNN.com writer Matt Majendie about his interview with Lance Armstrong.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
He might have been best known for his acting career, but the late Robin Williams was a cycling fanatic.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1606 GMT (0006 HKT)
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
Vincenzo Nibali became only the sixth man in history to win all three of cycling's major tours as he sealed victory in the 2014 Tour de France.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
Standing on the podium at London 2012, Joanna Rowsell achieved her greatest dream -- and gave hope to millions around the world.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 2248 GMT (0648 HKT)
The Tour de France is arguably the world's toughest event -- but it's just got a whole lot tougher.
June 6, 2014 -- Updated 0025 GMT (0825 HKT)
The primary joy of a bicycle is that, in its purest form, it's little more than a highly efficient way of walking.
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
David Kinjah won medal after medal -- but he also nurtured local Kenyan talent, like future Tour de France champion Chris Froome.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1240 GMT (2040 HKT)
Winning the Tour de France may be one of sport's toughest challenges but Chris Froome believes today's cyclists have an equally arduous task.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
Dubbed "the fastest man on two wheels," Mark Cavendish is a formidable sprint cyclist.