Tour de France: Wiggo Destroys Rivals

After the time trial stage today over 53 kilometres, and the expected victory by the man in Yellow, Bradley Wiggins has as good as won the 2012 Tour de France.

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| Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 | Stage 8 | Stage 9 | Stage 10 | Stage 11 | Stage 12 | Stage 13 | Stage 14 | Stage 15 | Stage 16 | Stage 17 | Stage 18 | Stage 19 | Stage 20

Yellow Jersey: Bradley Wiggins | White jersey: Tejay van Garderen |
| KoM Jersey:   Thomas Voeckler  | Green Jersey: Peter Sagan | Team: Radioshack Nissan

The final stage into Paris tomorrow will be time to celebrate the victory, have a final thrash around the streets of Paris before celebrating the first ever victory in the Tour de France for a British rider. A truly historic day that will capture the hearts and minds of a country.

Wiggins punches the air to celebrate an awesome victory in the Tour de France time trial and the overall prior to the celebration stage on Sunday.  PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

Today though was another box that had to be ticked before the celebration in Paris, another battle where Wiggins was expected to extend his lead over his closest rivals, Chris Froome (@2:05) and Italian Vincenzo Nibali (2:41).

The penultimate stage of the 99th Tour de France was a 53km time trial to Chartres, the last big challenge after 3,314 kilometres of battling against the wind, rain and heat, lady luck, mountains and rivals all wanting to be the 2012 Tour champion.

One by one, the riders left the start house, some happy just to complete the distance within the time limit, others going all out to try and be the stage winner. Others had different goals such as Britain’s David Millar who stated on Twitter with his challenge with Dave Zabriski to see which of them was the best at the discipline. That was Zabriski as a coughing Millar spoke of a terrible ride afterwards due to not being 100 per cent.

Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

Riders could afford to enjoy the moment with Paris in sight but for some, the job still had an edge to it. In the previous time trial, Wiggins had beaten Froome by 35 seconds and Nibali by 2.07 and with a two minute buffer to play with, Wiggins, barring accidents or mechanicals, was the favourite to win and he didn’t disappoint. He was quite simply on another planet and he punched the air with delight as he crossed the line.

The emotion of having all but won the Tour exploding as he crossed the line.

After the way Froome had ridden in the mountains, many were wondering if he could turn the tables on Wiggins in the time trial and take a moral victory but after Wiggins went through the first check twelve seconds up on Froome, it was unlikley anyone was going to beat Wiggins.

At the next time check, Wiggins was running away with the race, almost a minute ahead of Froome.

Wiggins from the start was visibly faster than anyone else, at one with his black and yellow bike, the o-symmetric chain rings playing havoc with the eyes every time the camera focused on them. Speeds of 40mph from Wiggins had him well faster than any of his rivals.

The time trial though was more than just a show by Wiggins. The support acts included BMC’s white jersey Tejay Van Garderen doing his best to move up to fourth overall at the expense of Jurgen Van Den Broeck but the Belgian held on to his place, one off the podium. The young American was certainly on a good day though, catching his teammate, last years Tour champion Cadel Evans.

Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

Whilst Wiggins was the star of the show, there were some notable rides. Luis Leon Sanchez of Rabobank was the fastest of all for 99 per cent of the race and it was only the Sky riders than denied the Spanish rider another stage victory. Nibali too pulled out a time trial to keep his third place and he did that, finishing just outside the top 10.

Video Summary

Bradley Wiggins: “From the moment you start cycling as a kid, it’s about this. You get into it and everyone dreams of winning the Tour or wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour but to cross the line… well, I kind of summed it up in that punch coming across the line.”

“The last 10 or 15 kilometres, I was thinking of everything really: from my childhood to this point, the days I got into cycling as a kid: my family – my mother, my wife and children, my grandfather who died two years ago… and it was all for them really. It was an incredible feeling and it was spurring me on to go harder and harder and harder. Some people in sport say, ‘You’re in the zone.’ But I was in it today in a way that I’ve never been before.”

“This is everything. It’s a lifestyle. And I’ve learned to live this lifestyle these last few years at the sacrifice of so many other things in my life, including the people around me who live with me and know me. This is as much because of their sacrifice and it’s huge.”

Brad all smiles in the press conference. Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

“The British flags out there on the roadside… it’s bloody humbling. You just think, ‘Why me?’ in a way. Just seeing the happiness of everyone out there today was an incredible feeling.”

“The reason I feel like this is because I have a sense of what I’ve achieved because I know my cycling and I can’t really sum it up in articulate terms. What happened out there is just incredible!”

“This is what I ultimately do best: time trialling. It was a superb course and I just wanted to finish the job off in style. There was a lot of emotion in the last 10km there when I knew I was ahead. Everything was going through my mind, all the years of getting to this point… all the disappointments like crashing out of the Tour last year and watching Cadel in this very position in Grenoble; I always imagined what it would feel like and now I know what it felt like last year.”

“It’s the Tour man, it doesn’t get much bigger than this!”

Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

Luis Leon Sanchez “It was a long and fast stage. I was feeling good from the beginning, and I was focused right away,” Luis Leon Sanchez said of his time trial. “Regarding the Olympic Games, this is a nice confirmation.”

“This is an excellent result. I also found it important to finish the Tour properly, especially after my wrist injury at the beginning of the competition. After my crash on the first stage, I took it easy for a while in order to recover, and to be able to establish some good results towards the end of the Tour. That worked!”

“I’m happy I can go home tomorrow and see my daughter again,” Sanchez said. “Now I’ve got a week to rest and recover my strength for the Olympic Games. I’d like to be champion there.” Sanchez also had something to say about his team. “We have a fantastic team. Of course it’s a terrible shame only four of us managed to finish, but those four did a very good job. We showed ourselves and nevertheless managed to achieve good results.”

Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Team Principal: “It was an amazing result and it’s been an amazing Tour for us. It don’t think it came as any surprise as long as the guys stayed on their bikes today they were going to come first and second. It went to plan.

“Bradley’s had an amazing race and what a way to demonstrate he is the best rider in the race by finishing with a time trial like that. I’m incredibly proud of both him and Chris as well as every single person in the team.

“It’s never been done before by a British rider, or by a British team – it’s a very special day.”

Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director: “Bradley has proved that he is the man of the race and the man of the season. With the help of the team throughout the year and in this race, he has done the business. Everything fell into place and everyone is really happy.

“Words can’t praise him enough for how he has moved up so much in stature over the last six months. It’s amazing and we’ve not seen the best of him yet. He was sensational in the time trial today, as was Froomey and we saw again who the two strongest guys in the race were.

“Now we need to get to the finish in Paris and we want to take another stage. Cav is up for that and so is the whole team. We will be going for it 100 per cent tomorrow to win on the Champs-Elysees.”

Stage Result

1. Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 01h 04′ 13”
2. Christopher Froome Sky Procycling + 01′ 16”
3. Luis-Leonsanchez Rabobank Cycling Team + 01′ 50”
4. Peter Velits Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 02′ 02”
5. Richie Porte Sky Procycling + 02′ 25”
6. Patrick Gretsch Team Argos-Shimano + 02′ 28”
7. Tejay Van Garderen Bmc Racing Team + 02′ 34”
8. Vasili Kiryienka Movistar Team + 02′ 46”
9. Rein Taaramae Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne + 02′ 50”
10. Jérémy Roy Fdj-Bigmat + 03′ 05”
11. David Zabriskie Garmin-Sharp + 03′ 12”
12. Matthieu Sprick Team Argos-Shimano + 03′ 20”
13. Molina Plaza Ruben Movistar Team + 03′ 24”
14. Daniel Oss Liquigas-Cannondale + 03′ 27”
15. Anthony Roux Fdj-Bigmat + 03′ 34”
16. Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas-Cannondale + 03′ 38”
17. Christian Vande Velde Garmin-Sharp + 03′ 40”
18. Bert Grabsch Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 03′ 43”
19. Andréas Klöden Radioshack-Nissan + 03′ 49”
20. Jens Voigt Radioshack-Nissan + 03′ 49”
21. Christophe Kern Team Europcar + 03′ 56”
22. Dries Devenyns Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 03′ 57”
23. Lars Bak Lotto-Belisol Team + 04′ 05”
24. Maxime Monfort Radioshack-Nissan + 04′ 06”
25. Dominik Nerz Liquigas-Cannondale + 04′ 14”
26. Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto-Belisol Team + 04′ 22”
27. Manuel Quinziato Bmc Racing Team + 04′ 24”
28. Denis Menchov Katusha Team + 04′ 28”
29. Aliaksandr Kuchynski Katusha Team + 04′ 28”
30. Maxime Bouet Ag2r La Mondiale + 04′ 32”
31. Andriy Grivko Astana Pro Team + 04′ 37”
32. Daniel Martin Garmin-Sharp + 04′ 41”
33. Sandy Casar Fdj-Bigmat + 04′ 53”
34. George Hincapie Bmc Racing Team + 04′ 57”
35. Yaroslav Popovych Radioshack-Nissan + 05′ 08”
36. Eduard Vorganov Katusha Team + 05′ 09”
37. Johan Van Summeren Garmin-Sharp + 05′ 11”
38. Ivan Basso Liquigas-Cannondale + 05′ 15”
39. Vladimir Karpets Movistar Team + 05′ 17”
40. Luca Paolini Katusha Team + 05′ 25′


1. Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 84h 26′ 31”
2. Christopher Froome Sky Procycling + 03′ 21”
3. Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas-Cannondale + 06′ 19”
4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto-Belisol Team + 10′ 15”
5. Tejay Van Garderen Bmc Racing Team + 11′ 04”
6. Haimar Zubeldia Radioshack-Nissan + 15′ 43”
7. Cadel Evans Bmc Racing Team + 15′ 51”
8. Pierre Rolland Team Europcar + 16′ 31”
9. Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team + 16′ 38”
10. Thibaut Pinot Fdj-Bigmat + 17′ 17”
11. Andréas Klöden Radioshack-Nissan + 17′ 54”
12. Nicolas Roche Ag2r La Mondiale + 19′ 33”
13. Christopher Horner Radioshack-Nissan + 19′ 55”
14. Chris Sorensen Anker Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank + 25′ 27”
15. Denis Menchov Katusha Team + 27′ 22”
16. Maxime Monfort Radioshack-Nissan + 28′ 30”
17. Egoi Martinez Euskaltel – Euskadi + 31′ 46”
18. Rui Albertocosta Movistar Team + 37′ 03”
19. Eduard Vorganov Katusha Team + 38′ 16”
20. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team + 42′ 26”
21. Jérôme Coppel Saur-Sojasun + 45′ 43”
22. Sandy Casar Fdj-Bigmat + 46′ 52”
23. Michael Rogers Sky Procycling + 54′ 52”
24. Michele Scarponi Lampre – Isd + 58′ 37”
25. Ivan Basso Liquigas-Cannondale + 59′ 44”
26. Thomas Voeckler Team Europcar + 01h 04′ 41”
27. Peter Velits Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 01h 05′ 10”
28. Laurens Ten Dam Rabobank Cycling Team + 01h 05′ 39”
29. Jelle Vanendert Lotto-Belisol Team + 01h 06′ 33”
30. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo Movistar Team + 01h 09′ 19
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