Tour De France 2012 Standings: Bradley Wiggins in Solid Shape with Peaks Looming

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Tour De France 2012 Standings: Bradley Wiggins in Solid Shape with Peaks Looming
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Fabian Cancellara continues to lead the Tour de France 2012 after Stage 5, but Bradley Wiggins is prepared to make a run on the leader. He is in great position to improve on his second-place finish in 2011.

Dave Brailsford told his Team Sky cyclists that it was time to “stop dithering and hovering" via The Telegraph. They responded, helping Wiggins keep pace on a relatively flat Stage 5 that favored the sprinters in the group.

Wiggins was largely protected by his teammates during Thursday's Stage that featured yet another crash. However, he still stepped up to the front of his team's pack to set the tempo, an act he seemed to welcome, according to the same article from The Telegraph.

It was nice to hit the front and open up a little bit because you risk ’de-training’ in the first week because it’s so easy in the peloton. You’re literally doing nothing at times.

We knew it was going to be a bunch sprint. Yesterday was a bit messy and mad so we wanted to stay out of that and avoid crashing at this late stage before we get to the hills and this race settles down.

I’ve been a bit caught up in all of the mess the last few days and obviously thinking about last year and what happened, when I crashed it was just a conscious effort.

Stage 6 will offer a few peaks before the major uphill battle starts on Saturday. Stage 7 is one of the key legs of the race and should give a very strong indication of how the early favorites compare to the balance of the field.

Wiggins has been riding well thus far and looks fresh and prepared for the pending elevation.

Brailsford, the head of Team Sky, also seemed refreshed after Thursday’s ride. “It was a super performance,” he said via The Telegraph.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

We had a good chat this morning and I wanted us just to commit with a bit more intent as a group and show a bit more intensity. Sometimes you can just hover through a stage and it becomes a bit lethargic but we rode hard all day with good intent to protect Brad and Mark (Cavendish).

It was a fine effort by Mark at the end. Perhaps he came from a little too far back but I don’t care who you are, if you hit the deck at 70 km (43.5 miles) per hour you are going to be sore the next day and he was carrying that. He showed real guts and determination."

The 2012 course will be a bit lighter in the climbing category than the last several Tours. This will eventually favor Wiggins whose background is in track competition.

He is skilled in the climbs, but defending champion Cadel Evans has an advantage in this area.

Cancellara was the favorite to have an early lead, but Wiggins has held with him thus far. Saturday could be a major moving day on the leaderboard, 

This stage's "highlight" is a final 8.5 percent climb that's almost four miles long.

The final push of this stage has an average climb of 14 percent, but brief portions of this stage will hit gradients in the low 20s. 

 

Overall Standings Following Stage 5:

Place 

Name  

Time  

Gap  

Team  

1

Fabian CANCELLARA

24:45:32

00:00:00

RNT

2

Bradley WIGGINS

24:45:39

00:00:07

SKY

3

Sylvain CHAVANEL

24:45:39

00:00:07

OPQ

4

Tejay VAN GARDEREN

24:45:42

00:00:10

BMC

5

Edvald BOASSON HAGEN

24:45:43

00:00:11

SKY

6

Denis MENCHOV

24:45:45

00:00:13

KAT

7

Cadel EVANS

24:45:49

00:00:17

BMC

8

Vincenzo NIBALI

24:45:50

00:00:18

LIQ

9

Ryder HESJEDAL

24:45:50

00:00:18

GRS

10

Andréas KLÖDEN

24:45:51

00:00:19

RNT

11

Bauke MOLLEMA

24:45:53

00:00:21

RAB

12

Maxime MONFORT

24:45:54

00:00:22

RNT

13

Janez BRAJKOVIC

24:45:54

00:00:22

AST

14

Rein TAARAMAE

24:45:54

00:00:22

COF

15

Peter SAGAN

24:45:55

00:00:23

LIQ

16

Jean-Christophe PERAUD

24:45:55

00:00:23

ALM

17

Marco MARCATO

24:45:55

00:00:23

VAC

18

Vladimir GUSEV

24:45:56

00:00:24

KAT

19

Haimar ZUBELDIA

24:45:56

00:00:24

RNT

20

Wouter POELS

24:45:56

00:00:24

VAC

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