Bradley Wiggins was crowned Britain’s first Tour de France champion yesterday after helping Sky teammate Mark Cavendish to secure a fourth consecutive stage win on the world-famous Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Wiggins, who virtually sealed victory when he won his second time-trial of the three-week epic on Saturday, finished the 3,479km race with a 3min 21sec lead over British team-mate Chris Froome after the 20th and last stage.
Historic feat: Tour de France 2012 champion Bradley Wiggins (left) celebrates at the finishline. PIC/AFP
It was Isle of Man sprinter Cavendish’s fourth consecutive stage win on the Champs-Elysees, taking his tally of stage wins in this year’s race to three and to 23 overall.
Three years after Wiggins equalled Scot Robert Millar’s 1984 best British finish of fourth overall, in 2009, Wiggins finally achieved his childhood dream of winning the world’s most prestigious bike race. Italian Vincenzo Nibali of the Liquigas team finished third overall at 6:19.
Team Sky achieved the rare feat of a 1-2 on the podium, the first since 1996, when Dane Bjarne Riis finished ahead of his German teammate at Telekom, Jan Ullrich. It is also the first time compatriots have taken the first two places since France’s Laurent Fignon finished ahead of five-time winner Bernard Hinault in the 1985 edition.