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Wiggins fixes eyes on prize

TOUR de France leader Bradley Wiggins was set to use today's rest day to reflect on his achievements thus far ahead of the resumption of the race to Paris.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche will also be using the day to recharge his batteries in an attempt to stay in the top 10 when the race resumes tomorrow.

"I'm in tenth place overall, five minutes and 29 seconds behind him now and it's not going to be easy to stay there. I climbed okay the first few days, I did one of my best TTs (time trials) so far today but I still have the big mountains to come and a lot of work to do to stay in the top 10," he said.

"After today's stage, I was so knackered it took me about 10 minutes to write a three-line text to one of my friends, but we have a rest day tomorrow and my girlfriend Chiara is coming to meet me tonight so I'm looking forward to my day off."

Roche remains in the top 10 while Daniel Martin is in 67th. Roche finished 23rd yesterday in 54:32, while Martin was 51st with a time of 56:10.

Team Sky rider Wiggins won the 41.5km time-trial from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon, enhancing his hold on the fabled maillot jaune with his first Tour stage success.

The 32-year-old triple Olympic gold medal winner now leads defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) by one minute 53 seconds ahead of tomorrow's 194.5km 10th stage from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. Wiggins' team-mate Chris Froome sits third overall, 2mins 07secs behind.

"It's about being good for 21 days," Wiggins said.

"I've been consistently good for the last few days and I have a good lead now.


"It's just about not getting too carried away. We have to forget about this very fast - you start dwelling on your success and that's when things start going wrong.

"We get back up in two days' time and start from zero again."

Wiggins admitted the moment on Saturday when he realised a lifelong dream to claim the maillot jaune led to a fitful night's sleep.

He added: "I struggled a little bit at that mountain summit the other day when I took the jersey - I realise what that means in the sport.

"I didn't sleep very well that night. I allowed the emotion of taking the jersey to slightly get to me. But that's what it's all about, that's why I do this sport, that's why I love it and that's why I train as hard as I do."