Tour De France 2012 Standings: Bradley Wiggins Will Hold the Yellow Jersey

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IIJuly 9, 2012

BELFORT, FRANCE - JULY 08:  Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain riding for Sky Procycling takes a drink after leaving the start as he went on to defend the race leader's yellow jersey during stage eight of the 2012 Tour de France from Belfort, France to Porrentruy, Switzerland on July 8, 2012 in Belfort, France.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Bradley Wiggins has been impressive throughout the first eight stages of the Tour de France, so expect him to continue to hold on to the yellow jersey as he maintains his lead.

While Wiggins only has a 10-second lead, he has set himself up well to continue to add to it.

With the yellow jersey heading into the eighth stage, Wiggins had a major challenge. Wiggins is considered weakest at downhill riding, and with so much of the eighth stage being downhill, Wiggins was not expected to hold on to his lead as effectively as he did.

Vincenzo Nibali, currently in third place, challenged Wiggins aggressively during the downhill portion of the stage, but Wiggins impressively held him off to stay ahead.

Holding on to the lead to this point is huge for Wiggins, who should excel in Monday's time trial.

The 41.5-kilometer time trial is relatively flat, so Wiggins should successfully hold on to his lead here. Wiggins also excels in individual time trials, which should allow him to build his lead even further.

The key question will be how he will fare in the steeper 10th and 11th stages, difficult rides that can eliminate riders who are not prepared for it. 

Wiggins has already shown the endurance to hold off challengers, as his impressive performance in the eighth stage indicates.

This bodes extremely well for his chances in the 10th stage and the even more brutal 11th stage. If Wiggins performs well in those stages and holds on to his lead, challengers will have a difficult time unseating him.

That means that Wiggins could realistically hold on to the yellow jersey throughout the Tour, riding his way to a victory.