Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins is the first British Tour de France winner. The 32-year-old triple Olympic champion made it safely through the final 120-kilometre 20th stage from Rambouillet to Paris – indeed he did much more than that, being a key part of the lead-out which delivered team-mate Mark Cavendish to his fourth successive sprint victory on the Champs-Elysees.
It was Wiggins’ 13th day in the yellow jersey after he took the lead on stage seven and he finished the race with an advantage of three minutes 21 seconds over Chris Froome as Team Sky claimed a famous 1-2. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) was third at +6:19.
“I’ve had 24 hours for this to soak in and today we were just on a mission to finish the job off with Cav. So job done and what a way for him to finish it off. I’m still buzzing.
“I’ve got to get used to going into the history books now, but I’m just trying to take everything in today first. It’s very surreal at the moment because this type of things [usually] happens to other people. You never imagine it happening to yourself.
“It’s hard to take in as it happens. Every lap of the Champs-Elysees was goose-pimple stuff. We had a job to do with Mark today and we were all motivated to do that so it made it go a lot quicker. The concentration was high and for Mark to finish it off like that, well, it couldn’t get any better.”
“It’s incredible what we’ve achieved today – what a team. We got a one and two on GC but still we were riding to control things on the Champs-Elysees. It was an honour to have the yellow jersey leading me out. Bradley told me he’d go full gas to the last kilometre and then Edvald (Boasson Hagen) led me into the last corner. The finish couldn’t have been more perfect – no better end to this Tour.
“It’s an incredible achievement for the team. Four years ago we said we were setting out to win the Tour, but we haven’t just done that, we’ve got second place as well and a handful of stages. Seven stages have been won by British guys this year so that’s one in three – not a bad stat.”
Van Garderen Earns Best Young Rider Award, Hincapie Makes History
Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team became only the third American to win the best young rider classification at the Tour de France Sunday while teammate George Hincapie made history by reaching Paris and finishing a record 16th edition of the world’s greatest bicycle race.
Bradley Wiggins (Sky ProCycling) became the first rider from Great Britain to win the Tour de France while his teammate and world road champion Mark Cavendish won his third stage. Wiggins finished 11:04 ahead of van Garderen and 15:49 in front of Evans. Urged on by Wiggins and his team, Hincapie led the peloton onto the Avenue des Champs-Élysées near the end of the 120 km race. “I’m actually really good friends with a lot of the Sky guys and I would have liked to have been a little bit more low key about it,” Hincapie said. “But they were asking me to do it. So I went ahead and did it and it was a real honor for me to lead them into Paris.” In what is likely his final Tour after announcing he will retire next month, Hincapie finished 38th overall in his 17th appearance. Hincapie did not finish his first Tour in 1996 but he did reach Paris in each of his next 16 consecutive starts, a record.
Van Garderen follows in the footsteps of previous American white jersey wearers Greg LeMond (1984) and Andy Hampsten (1986). The 23-year-old spent all but two days of the race in the white jersey. Fourth in the prologue to earn it, he lost the jersey on Stage 7 to Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne) after finishing more than three minutes behind the stage winner. But he regained it by finishing fourth in the 41.5 km individual time trial on Stage 9. “I think it’s another few years before I can think about switching this color (to yellow),” van Garderen said. “Luckily I’m still eligible for this color next year so maybe I’ll try to win this again before I think of the big prize. Being able to learn from veterans like George and Cadel and that I can actually hold up to a three-week race has been wild.”
1. Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) 3:08:07
2. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) +0″
3. Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) +0″
1. Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) 87:34:47
2. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +3:21″
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) +6:19″