The 32-year-old current leader of the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins, was able to win Stage 9 of cycling's greatest race.
The field receives a much-needed day off on Tuesday, and Wiggins will be the one who benefits most from the rest.
Team Sky's leader finished ahead of the pack in the individual time trial that spanned 25.8 miles from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon, France, in a time of 00:51:24
Time trials are one of his strengths, but the mountainous Stage 10 terrain certainly isn't. Stage 10 stretches from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, a distance of 120.9 miles
Surely, Stage 9 took a lot out of Wiggins, as high temperatures led to increased fatigue among the field. Now that the Brit has won the latest stage, he can sit back and allow his opponents to reflect on their failures on their day off.
According to NBCsports.msnbc.com, Wiggins did exactly what he wanted to do on Monday:
"My goal was to get a minute on Cadel [Evans] ... I've come away with a bit more than that, it's a bonus," Wiggins said. "Winning the stage is like Christmas, it's brilliant."
There is still plenty of work to do, but Team Sky as a whole has showed that they have the ability to compete on both the flat ground and the climbs.
Jean-Francois Pescheux offered some insight into the coming stage, per letour.com:
Back to the mountains. On paper, the Grand Colombier is a monster. In my opinion, it is the toughest mountain in France, with sections at 12 percent. Nevertheless, its location 43 km from the finish changes the story altogether. Rather than a single devastating attack, I see a group of five or six strong riders break away and then come together before the finish.
Pescheux makes the point that it will be a group of five or six strong riders that will finish ahead of the rest of the field.
Wiggins has plenty of riders who will help his cause and comprise part of that "group" that Pescheux speaks of. His help will come in the form of Team Sky—one of the best teams in the entire competition.
Christopher Froome, the winner of Stage 7, is the second-best rider on Team Sky next to Wiggins. Froome is currently in third place and should be able to hang around with Wiggins and help to ensure that he finishes among the leaders.
While Wiggins, Froome and the rest of the field are supreme athletes, any kind of rest is welcome in the war of attrition that is the Tour de France. Any ounce of rest that these cyclists receive throughout the race will prove useful.
So far, the race has lost 20 men because of illness or injury, so it's evident that every participant will benefit from the race.
None will be impacted as positively as Wiggins, who now is able to sit back with a clear head and formulate a plan of action with the rest of his team.
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