Historic Tour victory for Wiggins
July 22, 2012 16:36 pm
Bradley Wiggins has become the first British Tour de France champion - and celebrated his success by leading Mark Cavendish to victory in Paris.
Wiggins completed his 13th day in the yellow jersey and the 99th Tour in first place, three minutes 21 seconds ahead of Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, who became the second Briton, after his team-mate, on the podium in the history of the race.
Not content with his personal success, Wiggins played an integral role as world champion Cavendish won the 120-kilometre 20th stage from Rambouillet, sealing victory on the Champs-Elysees for a fourth consecutive year.
It was the seventh British stage success of the 2012 Tour, with Cavendish finishing with three wins, Wiggins with two, Froome with one and David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) one.
All four Britons, together with Ian Stannard, are due to combine on Saturday in a bid to help Cavendish win Olympic gold in the 250km road race on the opening day of London 2012.
Cavendish has won on the French capital's most famous boulevard in each of the Tours he has completed - in 2009, 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.
The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man, who also won stages two and 18, now has 23 Tour stage wins, moving above Lance Armstrong and Andre Darrigade into fourth place in the all-time list.
It was a remarkable effort for the Manxman, who spent much of the Tour in the service of Wiggins. Wiggins repaid the favour, taking to the front with 1.1km remaining, with Edvald Boasson Hagen assuming the lead 600 metres out.
Cavendish came to the front in the rainbow jersey 400 metres from the line and powered to a supreme victory. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) was second, with Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) third.
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