Tour de France: The Wiggins & Cav Show

The fairy-tale for Team Sky is complete in Paris as Mark Cavendish wins Parisan stage and Brad Wiggins & Chris Froome are 1-2 in the World’s biggest bike race

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Previous Stages

| 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

Team Sky told the world it wanted a British winner of the Tour de France within five years — they did it in three and even better, it was a 1-2 for Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome; and Mark Cavendish won the final stage to put the icing on the Sky cake.

Number four in Paris for Mark Cavendish – Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

As well as all that, four stage wins by four different British riders made it the most successful assault on the Tour de France ever by British riders. No-one could have foreseen such success. Many put it down to a more level playing field in a sport that has never been cleaner. The success though was no accident as team Sky coached its riders hard, planned meticulously and looked at every area of performance so it is was good as it can be.

The eventual winner, Bradley Wiggins showed many times on the track how good he was and no-one could touch him on his day. He’s taken that talent, fine tuned it for the road and the end result was a very big win for the British rider. Wiggins was never placed worse than second in the general classification; he was second in the prologue and the winner of the two long time trials.

Team Sky lead the race onto the Champs Elysees. Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

It was in Besançon and Chartres that he gained most of the time against his team-mate, Christopher Froome, the Kenyan-born Brit who was the runner-up of the 99th Tour. Wiggins and Froome were first and second on stages nine and nineteen separated by 35 secs and 1.16 respectively and it was an untimely puncture for the super-domestique Froome in the finale of stage one that cost Froome another 1.25.

But the pair from Sky finished first and second overall and created history for British cycling. Topping things off on the final day, Wiggins led the peloton under the ‘flamme rouge’ and, as promised lead-out the fastest man in the world, Mark Cavendish.

Other teams tried to interrupt the lead out of team Sky but the efforts of Saxo Bank, Orica-GreenEdge and Liquigas could do nothing to hold off the charge of the world champion who started his sprint from the moment he came off the Place de la Concorde.

It was a long sprint but he held off a fast, late challenge from Sagan and gave the world what they wanted to see, the World Champion showing he was the best in the world.

Cavendish in full flight on his way to his fourth straight victory in Paris. Photo: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

Wiggins celebrates an historic victory which will take a while to take in so huge is his and Chris Froome’s achievement.  Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

The final stage saw 153 riders still in the race and as tradition dictates, the early part of the stage to Paris was ridden easily with the average speed for the first hour just 31.7km/h, less than 20mph!). At the head of the peloton, each of the leaders of the respective prize classifications – Wiggins (SKY), van Garderen (BMC), Sagan (LIQ) and Voeckler (EUC) – rode bikes that were coloured the same as their jerseys: yellow, white, green and polka-dotted, respectively.

It was a champion of the sport, a legend and a rider loved by fans the world over, George Hincapie who led the peloton onto the Champs-Elysées. It was another crowd favourite though, Jens Voigt (RNT) and Danilo Hondo (LAM) who were the first to break free and start the race to the finish line in the most famous kermesse in the world.


After two laps, they were 8” ahead of the peloton that was led by Sky and with 32km to go, 11 men broke free of the peloton; Marino (SAU), Kuchynski (KAT), Bak (LTB), Burghardt (BMC), Costa (MOV), Minard (ALM), Voigt again (RNT), Edet (COF), Tankink (RAB), Kroon (STB) and Iglinskiy (AST).

With 25km to go, they had a lead of 27” and the maximum lead they managed was 30”. Liquigas and Sky were the teams that took responsibility for the chase. With 13km to go, Voigt attacked and dragged Minard and Costa with him and as Sean Yates continued to encourage his riders on the team radio to bring the break back, 10km from the finish, the break still had a lead of 18”.

With 4km to go it was down to 8” and Saxo Bank put four men on the front before Sky took control again and with 3km to go, the escape was over. Just the sprint to do and with sprint trains battling for the best racing line, there was an almighty roar around the world as the Yellow jersey no less, Bradley Wiggins, hit the front as they approached the red kite and gave it full gas.

Wiggo on his ‘Yellow’ bike… how apt (Yellow Ltd are the importers of Pinarello!)  Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

Other teams were still battling to try and get alongside them, and as Boasson Hagen ran wide on the final bend, Cavendish kept it tight and from a long way out along the barrier, he rocketed clear to hold off the fast approaching Peter Sagan. Cavendish had won his fourth stage in a row in Paris while Wiggins and Froome made history as the first two British riders to break through the previous best of fourth (Robert Miller and Brad Wiggins).

sprint right after crossing the Place de la Concorde he came around his team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen and into the wind. For 400 metres he held off his rivals and claimed his third stage victory in the 2012 race.

Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France winner 2012 – “”My mother over there” said Bradley Wiggins from the podium in the centre of the Champs-Elysées. “Her son has just won the Tour de France. Thank you everyone. Cheers. Have a safe journey home and don’t get too drunk.”

“It’s hard to take in as it happens. Every lap of the Champs-Elysées was goosepimple stuff. We had a job to do with Mark today and we were all motivated to do that so it made it go a lot quicker. The concentration was high and for Mark to finish it off like that… well, it couldn’t get any better.”

“I don’t actually know what to say that I haven’t already said yesterday.”

“It’s brilliant. But I’m lost for words. It’s a different feeling to 24 hours ago but we’ve come here and we were committed to what we were doing so there was no sense of, ‘Oh, this is it.’ It was so hard once the race started and, right to the end, when I was leading out with a kilometre to go.”
“Right now, at the base of the podium, I’m trying to soak it all in and it’s hard to articulate what I’m feeling. It’s a strange feeling, really – very strange.”

How many though we’d see this — a Brit on the top step of the podium in the Tour de France …   Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)

“Now we’ve come out of our bubble and now we start to realise what it means to all these people who have come over here for the weekend. That turn [near the Arc de Triomphe] was just a sea of Brits and the noise was incredible. It was close to what it was like at the Olympics in Athens when I was coming into the home straight.”

“It’s that kind of feeling. It’s phenomenal. You couldn’t fail to hear it.”

“Tonight I go home. Everything turns to the Olympics and I’ll be out on the bike tomorrow and I’ve got an Olympic time trial to try and win. So that’s a higher priority than anything else. It’s a little weird to leave Paris without a party because it would be nice to spend time with the team and really enjoy it.”

“This has been – as everyone’s seen – such a team effort. Even today, it was an incredible group of guys. I’ve had the privilege to ride with them for the past three weeks; it’s been an absolute honour.”

“You imagine that you’d feel an enormous sense of relief but you get there and it’s a very strange feeling. I remember watching Cadel win it last year and thinking, ‘God, that must be incredible!’ But it happens to you and it doesn’t feel as you imagine it to feel. It’s a strange sensation. It’s very surreal.”

Chris Froome: “I’m blown away by what we as a team have achieved these last three weeks as a team; it’s monumental. Also, for a team that’s relatively new to cycling – this is only the third year for Team Sky now – so for us to have two riders standing on the top two steps of the podium on the Champs-Elysées… it’s really something special.”

“Hopefully it’s set the precedent for us going forward in the future.

“I surprised myself. I knew I had very good condition coming into this race but you never know where your opposition is at and I was never confident that I would be right at the top of the sport. I’m really happy to be in this position and I hope to keep competing like this in the future.”

“I might not need to change my team to be a winner of the Tour de France. I’d love to win it one day and let’s see… I’ve learned so much this year being right there at the front of the race but not having the pressure of being the leader. I’m going to take that experience away and hopefully learn for the future.”

“I never saw this day coming so I couldn’t be happier.”

Mark Cavendish (stage winner, Paris): “After getting first and second on GC, winning five stages – or, whatever… how many was it before today – it wasn’t going to be an unsuccessful Tour by any means. I’m just happy to get that final win today (his 23rd Tour stage). We had the whole team on the front and it was an incredible sight.”

“I’m very ready for the Olympics now. Four of the five guys are in the Olympic Games squad, there are seven stage wins at the Tour de France so we’re going to have an incredibly strong team and we’re not just going to the Games to see how it goes. We’re fully excited about it and we’ll just wait for next Saturday.”

“My legs are really good. You’ve seen my sprint is really good and I just like getting to the finish. I’ve got an incredible team to try and do that in London, four out of five of us have won stages here… between us we have one out of every three stages of this year’s Tour. As a nation in the cycling world, there’s nothing better than that.”

“It was great for British cycling fans to see what they saw today: guys who are first and second on GC in the Tour de France controlling the peloton and the yellow jersey leading it out at the last kilometre… and me winning for a fourth time here. I’m incredibly proud of an incredible three weeks that came to a close today.”

“It was a sea of blue, white and red flags and it’s incredible to see that in Paris.

Vincenzo Nibali: “Today is a special day that makes me very happy” says Nibali. “It’s been a super battle against very capable opponents. Finishing on the podium means that I was one of the best. Obviously this marks a starting point and not the end for me. I’m happy to accept this placing as I know I still have room to improve and can aim for the top place on the podium in the future.”

“I’ve proved that I can be competitive in all stage races and this is an excellent result. I want to thank everyone on the team from teammates to staff because they’ve always been there for me and supported me in an exceptional way. We’re a special group and despite the indomitable competition we’ve reaffirmed our team as one of the strongest in the world.”

“I’m also very proud to have put Italy on the podium of an important race like the Tour de France. The enthusiasm from the fans has been a major driving force over the weeks: so I dedicate this result to them, my family, my girlfriend Rachele and to everyone who believed in me.”

Peter Sagan: “I achieved results in this Tour that went way beyond what I expected” said Sagan, “And that makes me even happier, I wanted a stage win and I got three, I wanted the green jersey and I won it. I definitely couldn’t have asked for more.”

“It’s been a wonderful experience that has made me understand that I can always try to win, even on the most difficult terrain. Before I started, I thought about what the Tour would be like, what difficulties would I encounter, and how could I be competitive against the best riders.”

“My confidence grew day by day and I realised that I could achieve my goals. I’m also happy for the team, which believed in me and really trusted me. This result is an important step in my career and now I just want to keep going in this direction.”

“I want to finish this season good. I want to do well in the Olympic Games and the World Championships and maybe, afterwards, I’ll start thinking about the Classics. Other riders have made big names for themselves over the years but I want to be the original Peter Sagan.”

Wiggins and Rogers congratulate each other for a job well done.  Photo: Rob Lampard (Velostars)


1 Mark Cavendish Sky Procycling 03:08:07
2 Peter Sagan Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
3 Matthew Goss Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
4 Juan Jose Haedo Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank @ same time
5 Kris Boeckmans Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
6 Gregory Henderson Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
7 Borut Bozic Astana Pro Team @ same time
8 Andre Greipel Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
9 Edvald Boasson Hagen Sky Procycling @ same time
10 Jimmy Engoulvent Saur – Sojasun @ same time
11 Tyler Farrar Garmin – Sharp @ same time
12 Koen De Kort Argos-Shimano @ same time
13 Luca Paolini Katusha Team @ same time
14 Yohann Gène Europcar @ same time
15 S̩bastien Hinault Ag2R РLa Mondiale @ same time
16 Ruben Perez Moreno Euskaltel – Euskadi 00:04
17 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team @ same time
18 Marco Marcato Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team @ same time
19 Andrey Kashechkin Astana Pro Team @ same time
20 Samuel Dumoulin Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time

27 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 00:07
33 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
54 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling @ same time


1 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 87:34:42
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 Agirre RadioShack – Nissan 15:43
7 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 15:51
8 Pierre Rolland Europcar 16:31
9 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team 16:38
10 Thibaut Pinot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 17:17
11 Andr̩as Kl̦den RadioShack РNissan 17:54
12 Nicolas Roche Ag2R – La Mondiale 19:33
13 Chris Horner RadioShack – Nissan 19:55
14 Chris Anker Sorensen Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 25:27
15 Denis Menchov Katusha Team 27:22
16 Maxime Monfort RadioShack – Nissan 28:30
17 Egoi Martinez De Esteban Euskaltel – Euskadi 31:46
18 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa Movistar Team 37:03
19 Eduard Vorganov Katusha Team 38:16
20 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Movistar Team 42:26


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