March 11, 2012 – Bradley Wiggins won the 70th edition of the Paris to Nice race here on Sunday, edging home first in the closing 9.6-kilometer time-trial stage.

His victory in the eighth and final stage made him the first Briton since Tommy Simpson in 1967 to triumph in the early-season Race to the Sun classic.

“I know my cycling history, the Paris-Nice is a historic race, and my idol Tommy Simpson won here,” said the Team Sky rider, who is tipped as a potential victor of this year’s Tour de France in July. “I finished fourth in the Tour (in 2009), I won the Dauphine (in 2011) and now the Paris-Nice, so I’m among the best, the five who can do something in the Tour,” said Wiggins, who turns 32 in April.

Wiggins took possession of the yellow jersey in Monday’s 185.5-kilometer second stage on the flat between Mantes-la-Jolie west of Paris and Orleans. Completing the podium were Dutchman Lieuwe Westra, eight seconds behind Wiggins, and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, one minute 10 seconds back.

Wiggins added to a career haul that also includes three British road titles, a trio of world track honors and as many Olympic track golds.

His victory in the Paris to Nice was one of the tightest in the race’s history, and a carbon copy of Spaniard Miguel Indurian’s win over Ireland’s Stephen Roche in 1990.

Westra and Valverde had likewise gone into Sunday’s uphill time-trial from Nice to the Col d’Eze in second and third place. Wiggins pipped newcomer Westra in the time-trial by 1.98 seconds, while the day’s early leader, Frenchman Jean-Christophe Periaud slipped back into third place, 33 seconds back.

NICE, France, March 10, 2012 (AFP) – Final results in the Paris-Nice race after Sunday’s eighth and final stage.

Stage 8 standings (9.6km time-trial)
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 19min 12sec
2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) at 0:02.
3. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 0:33.
4. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 0:47.
5. Jrome Coppel (FRA/SAU) 0:51.
6. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:52.
7. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 0:58.
8. David Moncouti (FRA/COF) 0:59.
9. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 0:59.
10. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 1:06.

Final overall standings
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 28h12:16.
2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) at 0:08.
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:10.
4. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 1:24.
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 1:54.
6. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA/FDJ) 2:13.
7. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 2:21.
8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 2:42.
9. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/AST) 3:30.
10. Angel Vicioso (ESP/KAT) 3:59.
11. Jrme Coppel (FRA/SAU) 4:28.