Bradley Wiggins wins a 10-mile time trial

Because road racing used to be banned in Britain, time trialling became a big thing because it allowed covert competition. Even though road racing has been legal for many years now, modern culture still reflects this history. You can see it in the distances. Road races are measured in kilometres; time trials are measured in miles. How very British to clumsily straddle the imperial-metric divide as well.

This was why the Tour of Britain’s stage three time trial was 10 miles long. It was a nice touch from the organisers; a hat tip to the sport’s club cycling grass roots. As expected, that most British of riders, Bradley Wiggins, won. By some margin. Second place was the former British road race champion, Ian Stannard, 36 seconds down. Third place was a non-Brit – Jack Bauer. He’s a bass-playing New Zealander and not Kiefer Sutherland. Somewhat surprisingly, Alex Dowsett could only manage fifth.

General classification

So Wiggo now knows what he needs to defend as the race scales hills and mini mountains in coming days. He has 37 seconds on Stannard, who’s a team-mate and therefore won’t attack him and 47 seconds on Martin Elmiger who I literally hadn’t heard of until about eight seconds ago.

The pick of the climbers are Dan Martin 1m38s back and Nairo Quintana who is 1m56s down.

Stage four

Stoke-on-Trent to Llanberis with three classified climbs in the final third of the stage. The last, Pen y Pass, is only a third category climb, but comes only nine kilometres from the finish and so presents a very obvious point at which to launch an attack.