BRADLEY WIGGINS underscored his dominance on the road this season, cruising to victory in the 99th Tour de France.
Sky teammate and reigning road world champion Mark Cavendish won the final stage, a 120-km race from Rambouillet to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Wiggins finished with the just nine seconds off to become the first British champion in the world’s biggest road stage race.
It was a huge victory for Wiggins, a multiple Olympic and world track champion who recently began to show that he also has what it takes to dominate stage races with back-to-back wins in the Criterium du Dauphine (2011-2012) and victories this year in the Paris-Nice and the Tour of Romandie before the ultimate triumph in the grueling Tour de France.
Wiggins, back-to-back Olympic individual pursuit champion and owner of five Olympic medals, is listed by london2012.com in Great Britain’s Olympic road cycling team and not in the track squad.
The 32-year-old Wiggins took the yellow jersey after Stage Seven and finished the 20-stage event three minutes and 21 seconds clear of Sky teammate and British cycling teammate Chris Froome and 6:19 ahead of Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas.
Wiggins also won the two time trials.
Cavendish, 27, finished the final stage in 3:08:07 for his third stage win of the 2012 Tour. He now has 23 overall Tour de France stage victories, fourth on the all-time list.
Frenchman Thomas Voeckler topped the King of the Mountains classification and 23-year-old Tejay van Garderen of the US finished fifth overall and took the white jersey as best young rider.
Last year’s champion Cadel Evans of Australia placed seventh, 15:49 off.