Wiggins storms time trial for Tour of California lead
Sir Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, riding for Team Sky, races to the finish line during the individual time trial, in stage two of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, in Sacramento, on May 12, 2014 - by Ezra Shaw
The British Team Sky rider on Monday knocked Garmin Sharp's early pace-setter Rohan Dennis of Australia into second place in the stage, 44 seconds adrift, with American Taylor Phinney third, 52 seconds back.
Wiggins, who followed up his 2012 Tour de France triumph with a gold medal at the London Olympics that year, seized the overall lead in the eight-stage race.
The race continues on Tuesday with a 174.5 km stage three that will take the field from San Jose to a finishing climb to the summit of Mount Diablo.
Wiggins averaged 51.5 km/h on the out-and-back course that took the riders past the front of Folsom Prison -- made famous by country music singer Johnny Cash.
The 34-year-old Wiggins will take a 44-second overall advantage over Dennis into the third stage, with BMC's Phinney a further eight seconds back.
"I didn't plan to have taken as much time as that but it was a great course for me and I'd prepared well for it," Wiggins told TeamSky.com. "The real stuff starts tomorrow."
Wiggins noted that he and his Sky teammates had trained on Mount Diablo and know what to expect.
"I'm in a good position and I'm climbing well," he said. "We're used to being in this position now as a team after the last few years so we know what to do."
Dennis had set a strong early time on Monday, despite crashing the day before.
Wiggins, however, was 19 seconds quicker at the intermediate en route to the winning time.
Omega Pharma rider Mark Cavendish of Britain had worn the leader's yellow jersey after his narrow stage one win.
He crossed the line 27th in the time trial and is 18th overall.