Success for UK in Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner, with another Briton in second place

22 July 2012

CYCLIST Bradley Wiggins has become the first Briton to win his sport’s most prestigious race, the Tour de France.

With Wiggins taking the winner’s spot on the podium, followed by teammate and fellow Briton Christopher Froome, this year’s race was a notable victory for the UK.

What was more, world champion Mark Cavendish, another Briton, won the last stage on the Champs Elysées, the seventh British stage success in the tour – and the fourth time he has won the final stage. Italian Vincenzo Nibali took third place.

French racer Thomas Voeckler won the polka-dot jersey as best climber.

France had two cyclists in the top 10: Pierre Rolland (eighth) and Thibaut Pinot (tenth), and Frenchmen won five stages.

Wiggins, 32, came fourth when he raced in 2009, but this season has been on spectacular form, winning the Paris-Nice in March as well as other stage races, the Tour de Romandie in French-speaking Switzerland and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

While Wiggins is the first British Tour de France winner, there has been no shortage of winners from English-speaking countries, such as Stephen Roche (Ireland) in 1987, multiple-winning Americans Greg LeMond (1986, 1989 and 1990) and Lance Armstrong (seven times in a row, from 1999), and Australian Cadel Evans last year.
Photo: Petit Brun

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