After his triumph in the Tour, is next stop an Olympic gold for Wiggins
21:59 GMT, 21 July 2012
Bradley Wiggins will
make British sporting
history on the Champs-
Elysees in Paris on Sunday
when he ends
Britain's 109-year quest
for victory in the Tour de
Wiggins, the 32-year-old triple
Olympic champion, has worn the
race leader's yellow jersey for
the past two weeks as he and his
Team Sky colleagues have
dominated the most gruelling
race in the world.
Triumphant roar: Bradley Wiggins celebrates after crossing the line
Top boys: Wiggins with his team-mate Christopher Froome
And after Saturday's penultimate stage, a 33-mile time trial which Wiggins claimed by an astonishing one minute and 16 seconds, his epic triumph is assured – barring accidents and acts of God.
Wiggins punched the air as he crossed the finish line in Chartres after clinching his second stage win of a Tour he and the British sporting public will never forget. Later, as he stood on the winner's podium for the umpteenth time, he was close to tears.
The enormity of what he has overcome has finally sunk in. Later, Wiggins announced: 'Bloody hell, I've just won the Tour de France!'
Tour delight: Wiggins celebrates winning stage 19
And, emotional and eloquent at
the same time, he added: 'In the
final 10 kilometres today I
thought about my childhood,
about my father leaving us when
I was a kid, my mum bringing me
up and my grandfather dying two
'I could never have imagined
that a kid from London could win
the Tour de France. All my mates
back home were into football and
had posters of Gary Lineker on
their walls. I was mad about
cycling and had Miguel Indurain
on my wall.
'I read all the cycling magazines
and dreamed of winning cycle
races, but never the Tour de
France. Now I've done it.
Barring something crazy tomorrow,
it's job done.'
He paid tribute to the thousands
of British fans who cheered him
on. 'I saw loads of union jacks out
there flown by British people
who spent their hard-earned
money to come out and support
me,' he said.
Out in front: Bradley Wiggins on his way to victory in the time trial as he closes in on victory in the Tour de France
Sunday's final stage, a 75-mile
procession from the leafy Paris suburb of Rambouillet to the
centre of the French capital, will
observe tradition and honour the
feat of the Londoner France now
calls 'Le Gentleman'.
It will end with Team Sky –
Wiggins included – attempting
to engineer a chance for Mark
Cavendish to win his fourth
successive final day stage on the
It will be the culmination of the
greatest three weeks of Wiggins's
already stellar career. He will
have covered 2,173 miles and
been in the saddle for a little
under 90 hours on a Tour that,
with Kenya-born Briton Chris
Froome taking second place
behind team-mate Wiggins, has
been dubbed 'Le Promenade des
Never before has any British
rider even made the podium. The
best until today was Robert
Millar's fourth place in 1984, a
feat matched by Wiggins himself
in 2009. To see a British rider win
the Tour de France will take some
believing on this side of the
Channel, especially a straighttalking
Brit sporting long sideburns,
a Paul Weller hairstyle and
a love of all things Mod.
Out in front: Wiggins will be the first Brit to win the Tour
Wiggins will earn 350,000 from
the prize money alone, and
potentially many millions of
pounds more from resulting
There are those who may mention
that two of his main rivals,
Alberto Contador and Andy
Schleck, were both absent from
the 99th staging of the Tour, the
former banned and the latter
Some have even questioned
how Wiggins has managed to
dominate a race long plagued
by doping, queries that have been given short shrift by Wiggins and his boss, Team Sky's Dave Brailsford.
The reality is that the man born in Ghent but who spent his formative years in Kilburn, north London, has not put a foot wrong in or out of the saddle since he began his history-making, incident-packed journey three weeks ago in a time trial in Liege.
He finished that stage in second place but with an initial lead over Australia's defending champion, Cadel Evans.
Buddies: Wiggins' team-mate Froome in action
That lead shot up to a
minute and 43 seconds
after stage nine, the
second time trial of the
Tour that witnessed Wiggins's
first ever stage
win and set him up for
the mountains with his
right behind him in
/07/21/article-2176903-14280316000005DC-103_634x416.jpg” width=”634″ height=”416″ alt=”Let's go: Tour de France 2011 winner, Australia's Cadel Evans, gets his race underway” class=”blkBorder” />
Let's go: Tour de France 2011 winner, Australia's Cadel Evans, gets his race underway
Yesterday's time trial from Bonneval
to historic Chartres was
dominated by Wiggins. To a background
of thousands of waving
union flags, the race leader was
the last of the remaining 153 out
of 198 riders who began the Tour
to ease his way down a ramp and
begin a flat course just made for
his time-trialling skills.
Wiggins won the stage emphatically,
with Froome, who many
thought could have won the Tour
himself, second and Spain's Luis-
Leon Sanchez, the long-time stage
Froome, bettered by only one
exceptional rider, will undoubtedly
be one of the favourites to
win next year's Centenary Tour.
After today's moment of history,
Wiggins will have six days
before he attempts to help Cavendish
in the sprinter's quest to win
Olympic gold in the road race,
before attempting to win a fourth
Olympic gold for himself in the
time trial the week after.
On yesterday's evidence he will
be the red hot favourite. For now,
though, the colour is not gold, it is
Decorations: A bell tower adorned with mock leaders' jerseys, while Peter Sagan (right) has the green one on
BRADLEY WIGGINS FACTFILE
1980 – Born March 28 in Ghent, Belgium before growing up in London. Son of Australian former racing cyclist Gary Wiggins.
1992 – Begins track cycling at Herne Hill Velodrome, London.
1997 – Wins individual pursuit gold at Junior World Track Championships in Cuba.
2000: March – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester. October – Bronze in team pursuit at Olympic Games in Sydney.
2001: September – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
2002: July – Silver for England in team pursuit and individual pursuit at Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Gold in individual pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
2003: August – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
September – Wins opening stage of Tour de l'Avenir.
2004: August – Olympic gold in individual pursuit at Athens Olympics. Also wins silver in team pursuit alongside Steve Cummings, Paul Manning and Rob Hayles and bronze in Madison alongside Rob Hayles to become first Briton since 1964 to win three medals at one Games.
2005: May – Wins stage eight of Tour de l'Avenir.
2006: July – Makes Tour de France debut, riding for French team Cofidis.
2007: March – Wins gold in the individual pursuit and team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Palma, Majorca.
June – Prologue victory in Dauphine Libere. July – Finishes fourth in Tour de France prologue in London behind Swiss winner Fabian Cancellara but his team, Cofidis, later withdraw after team-mate Cristian Moreni fails a drugs test.
September – Individual pursuit gold at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
2008: January – Wiggins' estranged father, Gary Wiggins, is discovered unconscious in New South Wales and later dies.
March – Wins individual pursuit, team pursuit and Madison gold at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
August 16 – Successfully defends Olympic individual pursuit title with gold at the Laoshan Velodrome.
August 18 – Olympic team pursuit gold alongside Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning in a world record of three minutes 53.314 seconds.
August 19 – Favourite for Olympic Madison alongside Mark Cavendish but ninth-placed finish results in Manxman suffering the ignominy of being the only member of GB's track team to leave the Laoshan Velodrome without a medal and has a public falling-out with Wiggins.
October – Releases autobiography titled 'In Pursuit of Glory' detailing his struggle with alcohol after Athens Games.
2009: July – Secures fourth place in Tour de France, matching highest-ever placing by a British rider.
September – Wins British Time-Trial Championship. October – Wins stage five time-trial and overall title at Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia.
December 10 – Signs four-year deal with Team Sky, the BSkyB-backed road team which is being led by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.
2010: February 7 – Makes Team Sky debut at Tour of Qatar, helping squad to victory in the race's opening team time-trial.
March – Finishes third overall in the Tour of Murcia. May – Wins Giro d'Italia prologue to become second Briton to wear race leader's pink jersey, the maglia rosa. The victory gives Team Sky a Grand Tour stage win at the first attempt.
July – Finishes 24th on Team Sky's Tour de France debut.
2011: March – Finishes third overall in Paris-Nice stage race.
May – Wins fourth stage of Bayern-Rundfahrt as team-mate Geraint Thomas wins overall.
June – Wins traditional Tour de France warm-up Criterium du Dauphine. Wins British Championships road race.
July 8 – Abandons Tour de France after fracturing collarbone in crash on seventh stage. Wiggins was sixth overall, 10 seconds behind race leader Thor Hushovd, entering the stage.
September – Finishes third overall at the Vuelta a Espana, with Team Sky colleague Chris Froome second. Finishes second in World Championships time-trial before helping Cavendish win the road race.
2012: February: Wins stage five of Volta ao Algarve.
March – Wins Paris-Nice overall, completing victory with win on stage eight.
April – Triumphs in Tour de Romandie, winning stages one and five.
June – Successfully defends his Criterium du Dauphine title and wins stage four time-trial for an unprecedented series of results.
July 7 – Takes the Tour de France yellow jersey after stage seven.
July 21 – Wins the time-trial on the Tour's penultimate day to all but secure victory ahead of the final stage, effectively a procession.