The Tour: unbelievable – they actually did it!

He’s done it! Bradley Wiggins is the first British cyclist ever to win the Tour de France.

From an early start…

What’s more, Mark Cavendish, despite all the opposition understandably going up against him, has achieved his ambition of winning the final sprint on the Champs Elysées for a fourth consecutive time: the “icing on the cake”, as he called it earlier today.

Add to that the great achievement of Chris Froome in finishing second overall, and the podium in Paris today has almost been monopolised by the British outfit, Team Sky.

What a great day for cycling fans everywhere, and special reason for celebration by British cyclists and (so it seems) the general UK public.

Even the French have warmed to the winner, dubbing him ‘Le Gentleman’.[1] Of course they’d have preferred a French win, some of their own riders (Voeckler, Rolland and Pinot, for example) have successfully enlivened the race, winning stages and overall awards.

But France seems generally to have taken to the Mod from UK with his mutton-chop sideburns – unlike Lance Armstrong, who may have been respected by the French for his long winning streak in the Tour, but never loved. They may not have known much about Wiggins [2] less than a month ago, but that’s all changed now.

So, a fairy-tale finish for Sky!

… to the grandest finale of all!

Au revoir

George Hincapie was allowed to lead the peloton onto the Champs Elysées for the final laps. A nice gesture, as Hincapie is about to retire, having ridden a record 17 Tours in his long career.

What’s next?

So, next Saturday, the guys will be in action in the men’s Olympic Road Race. Should we all remain greedy, hungry for more success from this terrific trio?

One for the geeks

If you like info-graphics, then there’s a good one on the BBC site – an analysis of the nationalities of the top 10 places in the Tour, going back all the way to the inaugural year, 1903.[3]

[1]: BBC Online: French reaction

[2]; The Guardian: Wiggins profile

[3]: BBC Online: Tour info-graphic

Image sources: Daily Mail, SkySport

image yellow   … to a grand finale

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