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Bradley Wiggins Makes History Winning Tour de France
23 July 2012
This year’s 2012 Tour De France, the most famous and prestigious cycling event in the world, saw Brit Bradley Wiggins take first place to become the first British winner of the historic event. Starting in the quaint town of Liege with the finish line in Paris, the 2000 mile race provided a great deal of cycling action alongside some controversy.
Bradley Wiggins finished the race with a time of 87 hours 34 minutes and 47 seconds, earning him first place in the general classification. Wiggins’ Team Sky team mate Chris Froome took second place, finishing 3 minutes and 21 seconds behind him. Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali finished third with a time 6 minutes and 19 seconds behind the winner.
Swiss born rider Fabian Cancellara was the first to wear the yellow jersey following his first place finish in the Liege Tour De France Prologue. Bradley Wiggins took control of the yellow jersey at Stage 7, however, maintaining his lead throughout the remaining stages to keep hold of the jersey and take first place.
The point classifications saw a different set of winners, with Slovakian rider Peter Sagan being the most consistent rider overall winning 3 stages and finishing top 3 in 4 additional races earning him the top finish. German cyclist Andre Greipel and British rider Mark Cavendish were also able to win 3 stages each, but poor finishes in other stages saw them unable to challenge Sagan on points.
Further cycling trophies went to French rider Thomas Voeckler who took home the ‘King of the Mountains’ title while the USA’s Tejay van Garderen won the ‘Best Young Rider’ award. Radioshack-Nissan also took home the ‘Team’ title.
The 2012 Tour De France was a great success for British cyclists with British team, Team Sky performing exceptionally well. The team, formed in 2009, stated that their goal was to win the Tour De France within 5 years – 2012 saw the completion of this goal with Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins taking home the gold. Team Sky also took home more stage wins than any other team with 6 stage wins to their name.
World Champion cyclist Mark Cavendish also performed well, winning 3 stages, including a 4th consecutive final stage victory in the sprint to the Champs Elysees. These wins led to Cavendish being recognised as one of the all-time sprinting greats, with French newspaper L’Equipe calling Cavendish the ‘greatest sprinter of all time’.
The 2012 Tour De France was not without its controversies, however. During the second rest stage, Luxembourg born rider Frank Schleck tested positive for a banned diuretic, leading to his dismissal from the tour. French rider Remi Di Gregorio was also removed from the tour having tested positive for banned substances.
Stage 14 near the summit of Mar de Peguero was also marred with drama when 38 tacks were thrown onto the course, leading to punctures for over 30 of the riders, including Bradley Wiggins.
Stage 12 also had its own drama with Bradley Wiggins being hit on the arm by a spectator’s flare. Fortunately, Wiggins only suffered from minor burns as a result of the flare.
2012’s Tour De France was an exciting and historic event, with British Team Sky performing incredibly well throughout the Tour winning the first 1-2 in the event since 1996. Following the completion of the Tour, all attention will now shift to London for the 2012 London Olympics, with Team GB being favourites to take home Gold in the cycling events. Hopefully Team GB will be able to continue their recent form to take home Olympic Gold.
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