Evans acknowledges he faces a bigger hurdle than he did last year, when he overcame a 57-second deficit to Andy Schleck in the final time trial a day before the finish. The Tour "hasn't been optimal" so far, he said, and he is "not in the best position to be in compared to last year."
Meanwhile, confidence was rising at Sky. Team sports director Sean Yates said Wiggins "took quite a chunk off Cadel."
"It's not going to be easy for Cadel," Yates added, saying the possibilities of the Australian regaining time are "relatively limited ... but we all know he'll keep fighting. He's an ex-world champion. ... There will never be a lack of respect."
Tejay Van Garderen, a BMC teammate of Evans, surprised even himself with a fourth-place finish, 1:06 behind Wiggins. Van Garderen rose to eighth overall, from 17th, and is 5:14 behind Wiggins.
The 24-year American was nine seconds slower than third-place Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, one of the world's top time trial riders. The Swiss star won the opening-day time trial and wore the yellow shirt for seven days until Wiggins captured it Saturday.
Cancellara fell out of the running for the yellow shirt Sunday, finishing nearly 12 minutes behind Wiggins. He's not as strong a climber as Wiggins, Evans or Nibali.
After 10 straight days of racing, the pack of 178 riders gets its first rest day Tuesday. The field then faces two hard days in the Alps, including a summit finish Thursday that is likely to shake up the standings on the way to the July 22 finish in Paris.
Associated Press writers Greg Keller and Samuel Petrequin in Besancon contributed to this report.
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