Wiggins takes over SunTour lead with TT win, Sutton still in hunt
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Wiggins takes over SunTour lead with TT win, Sutton still in hunt

by Conal Andrews at 7:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

The overall classification of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour may be settled as much in tonight’s team meeting as it will on tomorrow’s concluding criterium stage, with Garmin Slipstream team-mates Bradley Wiggins and Chris Sutton separated by just five seconds.

Wiggins took over the race lead today when he raced to victory in the ten kilometre time trial in Geelong. He beat team-mate Svein Tuft by 14 seconds, with Jelly Belly’s Bernard Van Ulden a further 18 seconds back in third pace.

Sutton was sixth, 48 seconds behind, while his previous closest challenger Jonathan Cantwell was back in 14th and lost one minute and ten seconds. He now drops to third overall, 32 seconds back, and has almost certainly missed out on the chance to win the race.

Garmin Slipstream has Wiggins, Sutton and Tuft in first, second and fourth overall. Barring a completely unexpected turnaround, victory will go to the team. The question is, who will take it? Sutton is a better sprinter than Wiggins and could get back the time thanks to the bonuses available tomorrow, but it’s likely that a decision will be made before the stage starts.

"Maybe we're going to flip for tomorrow. I haven't really thought about it yet and we will probably talk about it tonight at our meeting," team director Matt White told reporters after the stage.

"We're a team. We came here to win the Tour and we are going to do that. It's just a question of with whom."

Both Wiggins and Sutton have said that they would ride for the other if it is decided that they should win. They are close friends, but also have personal reasons why they would each like to take the final honours.

Sutton’s father Gary won the race 25 years ago and the triple stage winner has a chance to complete the first father-son success in the history of the event. As for Wiggins, the Sun Tour was one of the last races his late father – also called Gary - took part in. It would also be the first international stage race win of his career, and would cap off a season where he finished fourth overall in the Tour de France.

"We might just have a big punch-up in the carpark and see who comes off best," he joked during the presentation of the yellow jersey.

"I haven't been in this position before, so I don't know how we will work it out. But if he (Sutton) wants to win, he can win. We always ride together, we get on really well and we are close both on and off the bike. I might let him have it," Wiggins said.

Sutton said that he’d love to take the final victory, but said he’d also work for Wiggins if the team decided that was the best option.

"To win this race has always been a dream of mine,” he stated. “If I win I am going to be super happy. I will win the Jayco Herald Sun Tour one day - if its not this year, I'll be back for the next one.

"I'd ride for Wiggo [if the team opted for the Briton to win]. We've known each other since 2006 when we were at Cofidis. Bradley's a great time trial specialist and this morning talking at breakfast he really clamed me down. He is always helping me." Sutton said.

Either way, he said that the team victory was the most important consideration. "We bleed for each other. We're brothers in arms. We are not racing against each other, it's a team effort. I just didn't win three stages here, it was the boys who put me there - the riders and the staff.

"We're just going to have a team meeting tonight. The main aim is to win tomorrow and to go for five stages straight.”

Cantwell has all but conceded defeat, saying that he will aim for a podium finish in the general classification. He has a seven second lead over Tuft and is likely to be quicker in the sprints. Besides, Tuft is likely to ride for Wiggins and Sutton in tomorrow’s concluding 60 kilometre criterium.


Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Victoria, Australia (2.1), October 11-17:

October 16, Stage 5: Geelong:

1, Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) 10 kilometres in 13 mins 8 secs
2, Svein Tuft (Garmin-Slipstream) at 14 secs
3, Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly) at 32 secs
4, Rohan Dennis (Jayco AIS) at 43 secs
5, Benjamin Day (Fly V Australia) at 44 secs
6, Chris Sutton (Garmin-Slipstream) at 48 secs

General Classification after Stage 5:

1, Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) 14 hours 24 mins 32 secs
2, Chris Sutton (Garmin-Slipstream) at 5 secs
3, Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) at 32 secs
4, Svein Tuft (Garmin-Slipstream) at 39 secs
5, Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly) at 1 min 41 secs
6, Matthew Wilson (Jayco Australia National) at 1 min 53 secs

Mountains classification:

1, Tom Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream) 54 pts
2, Alex Howes (Garmin-Slipstream) 38
3, David McCann (Prime Estate) 24

Sprint classification:

1, Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) 58 pts
2, Chris Sutton (Garmin-Slipstream) 48
3, Tom Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream) 16

Under 23 classification:

1, Nick Aitken (Jayco Australia National) 14 hours 26 mins 57 secs
2, Mitchell Pearson (Prime Estate) at 3 mins 30 secs
3, Ricardo Van Der Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) at 5 mins 11 secs

Teams classification:

1, Garmin Slipstream, 43 hours 14 mins 53 secs
2, Fly V Australia, at 7 mins 32 secs
3, Bissell Pro Cycling, at 12 mins 7 secs


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