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“It was good fun coming in at the end there,” Wiggins said. “It was a bit like being in a junior race again. Everyone attacking in ones and twos. It’s good. It’s what it’s all about.”

Still, he acknowledged he was glad he and his British squad were able to get through it, one more obstacle out of the way on the road to the finish in Paris on July 22.

“Another tough day ticked off,” he said.

Wiggins leads Evans by 10 seconds. Nibali is third, 16 seconds behind the leader.

Sunday’s race was marred by yet another crash, bringing a high-profile withdrawal. Defending Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez pulled out 35 miles into the stage. He broke his right hand and injured his left shoulder, and could miss the London Games.

Twenty riders have dropped out so far from the 99th Tour. Of those, at least 13 gave up the three-week race following a mass pileup during Stage 6.

Monday’s stage returns to favorable territory for riders like Wiggins and Evans: a time-trial. Riders will set off one by one in the 26-mile race against the clock from Arc-en-Senans to Besancon.

Wiggins, ever the family man, showed France-2 TV tattooed mementoes of his children on the base of his thumbs. That’s right where he can see them when he rides with his hands on the handlebars in a time trial like the one on Monday.

Evans called the upcoming ninth stage “the test of truth.”

“It’s each with their own two legs. … Opportunities don’t come around that often, so when they come you have to grab them by the neck,” he said. “Tomorrow might turn everything around, so we’ll see after tomorrow.”