Mark Cavendish lost the leader’s jersey to 23-year old Italian Team Sky rider Salvatore Puccio, who was first to cross the line as the British-based outfit dominated a 17.4km team time trial on the island of Ischia.
With Wiggins working hard and inspiring at the front, Team Sky covered the course at an average speed of 47.275kph, clocking 22 minutes and five seconds as the British favourite claimed some valuable seconds over his general classification rivals.
He now sits second in the overall standings, with the same time as Puccio.
“I’m very very proud,” Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford told BBC Sport. “It was a technical course and it was a hard course and they rode fantastically well.
“There was no flat where they could really open it up so it was more like a power climb, a descent and about keeping the team together and they did a brilliant ride to be fair.
“Our plan for winning the race doesn’t change one iota, this is a fantastic day and it’s great for Salvatore [to be the race leader] and great for the team but the plan doesn’t change.”
Home hope Vincenzo Nibali was 14 seconds down, defending champion Ryder Hesjedal was 25 seconds adrift and former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans is now 37 seconds off the pace set by Wiggins.
MORE: The latest football news
MORE: The latest tennis news
BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard
BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge