Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia finished second, with Wiggins in third only seconds behind as Sky’s pace on the final, 5.9 km climb to the race’s first hilltop finish exacted a costly toll on some contenders.
BMC leader Evans, who made a futile bid for the stage win only to be passed by Froome in the final 100 metres, is now second overall at 10sec behind Wiggins.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas, considered the biggest challenger to Evans and Wiggins, is third at 16 with Estonian Rein Taaramae of Cofidis in fourth at 32. “It’s a great day for the team,” said Wiggins, who started Day One in the hills in second place only 7sec behind Fabian Cancellara.
“I wanted to go for the yellow jersey and for Chris to win the stage but I had to tell him to slow down at the end to keep something for the finish,” he added.
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