Wiggins wins Paris-Nice title

2012-03-11 16:25

Col D'Eze, France - Bradley Wiggins won the 70th edition of the Paris to Nice race here on Sunday, edging home first in the closing 9.6km time-trial stage.

His victory in the eighth and final stage made him the first Briton since Tommy Simpson in 1967 to triumph in the early-season Race to the Sun classic.

"I know my cycling history, the Paris-Nice is a historic race, and my idol Tommy Simpson won here," said the Team Sky rider, who is tipped as a potential victor of this year's Tour de France in July.

"I finished fourth in the Tour (in 2009), I won the Dauphine (in 2011) and now the Paris-Nice, so I'm among the best, the five who can do something in the Tour," said Wiggins, who turns 32 in April.

Wiggins took possession of the yellow jersey in Monday's 185.5km second stage on the flat between Mantes-la-Jolie west of Paris and Orleans.

Completing the podium were Dutchman Lieuwe Westra, eight seconds behind Wiggins, and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, one minute 10 seconds back.

Wiggins added to a career haul that also includes three British road titles, a trio of world track honours and as many Olympic track golds.

His victory in the Paris to Nice was one of the tightest in the race's history, and a photofit of Spaniard Miguel Indurian's win over Ireland's Stephen Roche in 1990.

Westra and Valverde had likewise gone into Sunday's uphill time-trial from Nice to the Col d'Eze in second and third place.

Wiggins pipped newcomer Westra in the time-trial by 1.98 seconds, while the day's early leader, Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud slipped back into third place, 33 seconds back.

Final results in the Paris-Nice race after Sunday's eighth and final stage:-

Stage 8 standings (9.6km time-trial):

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 19min 12sec
2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) at 0:02.
3. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 0:33.
4. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 0:47.
5. Jrome Coppel (FRA/SAU) 0:51.
6. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:52.
7. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 0:58.
8. David Moncouti (FRA/COF) 0:59.
9. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 0:59.
10. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 1:06.

Final overall standings:

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 28h12:16.
2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) at 0:08.
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:10.
4. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 1:24.
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 1:54.
6. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA/FDJ) 2:13.
7. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 2:21.
8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 2:42.
9. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/AST) 3:30.
10. Angel Vicioso (ESP/KAT) 3:59.
11. Jrme Coppel (FRA/SAU) 4:28.