December 8 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Tour de France: Bradley Wiggins wins Stage 19
Londoner Bradley Wiggins has had the perfect warm-up for the Men’s Individual Time Trial and the Men’s Road Race by winning Stage 19 of the Tour de France and with it, takes the title.
The 32-year-old from Kilburn leads Team Sky team-mate Froome by 3’21” overall with Nibali in third, 6’19” back with the ride to Paris awaiting tomorrow.
Etiquette dictates that the real racing does not begin until the riders are in sight of the Eiffel Tower and no riders attack the man in yellow so the Londoner is set to take the title, with his team-mate in second.
Wiggins, a three-time Olympic champion, began the 53.5km time-trial from Bonneval to Chartres with an advantage of two minutes five seconds over Team Sky colleague Chris Froome and enhanced his hold on the maillot jaune with a scintillating display against the clock to take a 3mins 21secs lead into tomorrow’s final day.
Wiggins completed the route in one hour four minutes 12 seconds.
Froome was 1min 16secs slower in 1.05:29 to place second on the stage and all but confirm second place overall, with the final stage effectively a procession to the finish on the Champs-Elysees.
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is set to complete the podium despite not being in contention today. The Italian finished in 1.07:51 to place 16th on the stage, 3:38 behind Wiggins, and fall 6:19 adrift overall.
The margin of Wiggins’ victory answered many of those who questioned why Froome, who appeared marginally stronger in the mountains, was not Team Sky’s Tour leader.
Team Sky were launched in 2010 with the stated aim of winning the Tour with a clean British rider within five years - it is a target Dave Brailsford and his squad, through Wiggins, are set to achieve in three.
Froome is also on the verge of history - no Briton has finished on the Tour podium in 98 previous editions, with Wiggins’ 2009 fourth place equalling Robert Millar’s 1984 best. Now there are set to be two.
The last time two riders from the same nation finished first and second in the Tour was 1984, when Laurent Fignon finished ahead of Bernard Hinault.
Hinault’s second place two years later behind Greg LeMond was the most recent time two team-mates held the top two positions in Paris.
Wiggins has been in stunning form this season, winning the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races, and has carried his form into the Tour, which featured more than 100km against the clock.He was second in the Tour’s prologue on July 30 in Liege and has remained in the top two of the general classification since, taking the maillot jaune on stage seven and winning stage nine and today’s penultimate stage.