Hoy leads Wiggins tributes

21 July 2012 / 21:06

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy led the acclaim for Bradley Wiggins after the Team Sky leader moved within 24 hours of becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France, leaving his wife to break open the champagne.

Barring a freak incident on Sunday's concluding stage 20 to Paris, Wiggins will be the first Briton to stand on the top of the podium by the Champs-Elysees in the yellow jersey of champion.

Hoy, who won three Olympic titles in Beijing in 2008, on Thursday described the prospect of Wiggins winning the Tour as "as good as anything any British athlete has ever done".

After watching Wiggins win the penultimate day's time-trial to Chartres, Hoy wrote on Twitter: "I think I might stick a fiver on that Wiggins bloke to win the Tour de France tomorrow."

Wiggins' wife, Cath, might well have a headache as her husband rides into the French capital.

She wrote: "Right everyone I am calling it. Operation drink as much champagne as you can. GO."

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) was a team-mate of Wiggins when he finished fourth in the 2009 Tour, equalling the British best.

A protracted departure to Team Sky for their debut season in 2010 caused some acrimony, but friendship has been restored and the duo will ride together in the Olympic road race on the opening day of London 2012 in support of Mark Cavendish.

Millar wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations @bradwiggins. That's been an inspirational display of athleticism & ambition. You are one of the greats of cycling."

The feat was also recognised by non-cyclists with former England international footballer Gary Lineker tweeting: "Never really followed TDF but what an unbelievable effort from Bradley Wiggins and the team. Utter respect!"