Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Tour de France - 2012 - Bradley Wiggins clinches Tour de France

  1. #1
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Tour de France - 2012 - Bradley Wiggins clinches Tour de France

    Sagan wins again, Cancellera retains lead


    Peter Sagan got on the 2012 Tour de France roll of honour for the third time on Friday, claiming the sixth stage with Fabian Cancellera holding onto the leaders' yellow jersey.

    Sagan, riding for the Liquigas team, was adding this 210km ride from Epernay to his wins in the first and third stages on what is the Slovakian champion's debut in the race.

    Sagan is placed eighth in the general classifications behind Swiss ace Cancellera, with British challenger Bradley Wiggins seven seconds behind in second.

    A day ahead of the first climbing stage where the first selections in the peloton are expected to be made, some pre-race contenders were left rueing losing time after being caught in a mass pile-up.

    As the peloton chased a four-man breakaway a crash on a straight but tight section of road around 26 km from the finish forced several riders to hit the tarmac and grass verges and left even more delayed by the melee.

    A peloton of around 50 riders, which included most of the overall favourites including defending champion Cadel Evans and Wiggins but not stage contender Mark Cavendish, forged on regardless.

    Behind, it was chaos with dozens of riders held up and most waiting for new bikes and wheels from their support cars.

    Others, like American Tom Danielson and Davide Vigano of Italy, were in no rush to resume. After sitting or lying on the road in pain, they were forced to pull out due to their injuries.

    Among the big losers were Luxembourg's Frank Schleck ( RadioShack), Thomas Voeckler of France (Europcar), Italy's Michele Scarponi (Lampre) and Canada's Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin).

    All were delayed by the crash and left with a two-minute deficit to the chasing peloton up the road ahead as they closed in on frontrunners David Zabriskie (Garmin), Davide Malacarne (Europcar), Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank) and Romain Zingle (Cofidis), with Sagan emerging to prevail in the sprint for the line in Metz.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  2. #2
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Evans looking to make time on Tour's 7th stage

    Defending champion Cadel Evans says he could look to boost his victory chances in the Tour de France if he gets the chance on the race's first summit finish on stage seven.

    BMC leader Evans started Friday's sixth stage 17sec off the pace of yellow jersey holder Fabian Cancellara and 10sec behind main rival Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky.

    But although the 199 km ride from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles features less than 20km of climbing, the Australian believes the steep 5.9 km final ascension could shake up the general classification.

    While the managers of both Evans and Wiggins' teams both said they did not expect to gain by much on Saturday, Evans sees things differently.

    "Normally the first mountains are a good indicator of who's climbing well and therefore, who will be there in the other mountains," said Evans.

    "You go in not knowing who's the best climber in the race, or who's bad and so on. But everyone one gets in looking for that, to get an idea of how everyone's going.

    "That's the first thing, but then it's also an opportunity to make some time, hopefully... it's going to be an interesting race."

    On the seventh stage last year Wiggins crashed out with a broken collarbone.

    Having conceded 10secs to the Englishman in the opening prologue, Evans was thankful to his team for emerging unscathed from a tough and at times crash-marred week of racing.

    "The team's been incredible the whole week, to keep me safe without spending too much energy. That's crucial. So it's one more day of staying safe and then, of course, the first selection is going to be made."

    Wiggins' Sky team believe the stage sufficiently tough to merit a visit earlier this year, but team principal Dave Brailsford does not expect the time gaps to be significant.

    "I don't think the climb's long enough for a big selection," he added.

    "It's very steep. That last little kick, we could see something happening there. But it's not hard enough to separate the leading climbers, for example."
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  3. #3
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Winning the Tour is a dream, not a goal: Cancellara

    The Tour de France is six days old but such are the nuances of cycling that long-time race leader Fabian Cancellara knows he has no chance of wearing the yellow jersey when the carnival finishes up in Paris on July 22.

    Few other sports compare when it comes to false dawns, misleading results and unrealistic dreams but at least Swiss Cancellara - nicknamed Spartacus - is well aware of cycling's perverse twists of fate almost worthy of a Roman epic.

    Every day for six days the RadioShack rider has gone to the media conference wearing his yellow jersey, ready for a barrage of mostly meaningless questions for a time-trial specialist who will slip down the timesheets once the race hits the mountains.

    "The Tour is a dream, not a goal," the 31-year-old said with a deep breath, desperate that Thursday's ordeal in front of the gathered journalists should be shorter than usual.

    "I have goals and they are other races. Today I'm the rider in the history of cycling with the most days in yellow without winning the Tour de France - and it will stay that way for the rest of my career."

    Olympic time-trial champion Cancellara, who has now held the yellow jersey for 27 days during his career having won eight stages since 2004, could be overtaken by race favourite Bradley Wiggins when the Tour reaches the Alps on Saturday.

    Cancellara is seven seconds ahead of second-placed British Team Sky rider Wiggins and 17 seconds in front of defending champion Cadel Evans - numbers that have not changed since the time-trial prologue in Liege on Saturday.

    "It's funny that I've had all the luck isn't it?" Wiggins told reporters after avoiding a series of crashes in recent days, a year after bowing out after a nasty pile-up.

    "I realised last year that you soon realise the real world and who your friends are when you crash out of the Tour de France."

    Having become splintered in recent days, Sky raced as more of a team on Thursday's stage won by Andre Greipel and protected top man Wiggins.

    "It's easier to ride with a purpose," Sky boss Dave Brailsford said before the team bus packed up and sped away.

    "The way it went today is the best way to keep Brad out of trouble. We've got Mark (Cavendish) and Brad and the best place for them is at the front."
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  4. #4
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Britain`s Wiggins takes Tour de France lead

    La Planche des Belles Filles (France): With two weeks left in the Tour de France, the two-man showdown that many predicted is taking shape, with Britain`s Bradley Wiggins already in the yellow jersey — and driver`s seat — while Cadel Evans isn`t.

    The 31-year-old Briton and his Team Sky dominated the race`s first summit finish Saturday, with Christopher Froome winning Stage 7 ahead of Evans and Wiggins close on the Australian defending champion`s back wheel.

    In the 123-mile trek from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles, Wiggins took the overall lead from Switzerland`s Fabian Cancellara and gave Britain its first yellow jersey in 12 years — and the first for Sky.

    "It`s a great day for the team, we won the stage and took the yellow jersey," Wiggins said in French.


    "This is my first time in the yellow jersey. It`s incredible — it`s been a dream of mine since I was a kid."

    As the pack disintegrated on the final climb, Evans tried an attack just before the super-steep patch in the last half-mile, but Froome beat him and made it look easy, leading Evans to wonder what he might be in for later.

    Cancellara, a time-trial and one-day classics specialist who had worn yellow since winning the prologue a week ago, was 1 minute, 52 seconds behind Froome — but more importantly 1:50 back of Wiggins.

    The Sky leader, who began the day 7 seconds behind Cancellara in second place, leads Evans by 10 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy was fourth to climb to third overall, 16 seconds behind.

    Wiggins, a three-time Olympic track gold medalist looking to become Britain`s first Tour champion, became the pre-race favorite after winning the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races this year.

    Wiggins has more breathing room than Cancellara when he was leader. Only five riders are within a minute of Wiggins, including Denis Menchov of Russia, who won the 2009 Giro d`Italia and the Spanish Vuelta — twice. The Swiss rider, by contrast, had had 22 riders within 48 seconds of his lead as Saturday`s stage began.

    With two time trials and more climbing days in the Alps and Pyrenees still to come, Wiggins played down speculation that he might`ve taken the lead too early with the finish in Paris on July 22.

    "You can`t get too cocky in this race and choose when you take the yellow jersey. I`d much rather be in yellow than in hospital — like half the peloton," he said, referring to injuries from crashes in recent days.


    Race organizers also tallied Saturday the full fallout of two bunch crashes a day earlier, including a high-speed one as riders were jockeying for position in a final sprint. A total of 13 riders dropped out due to injuries in the spills, bringing the number of withdrawals through seven stages to 17 — the highest number at this point since 1998.

    One of them was Garmin-Sharp leader and Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal of Canada.

    Wiggins crashed out of the 2011 Tour with a broken collarbone and said he felt "lucky" he has been trouble-free this year.

    Uncertainties remain and two weeks is a long time. But all signs read green for Wiggins: Sky is one of the strongest teams; it has launched a methodical approach to winning; the route this year is heavily weighted on time-trials which are his specialty. And with two-time Tour champion Alberto Contador out serving a doping ban, and 2010 winner Andy Schleck out injured, that`s two fewer would-be challengers.

    Evans sensed he`s in for a challenge from Sky.

    "With Wiggins on a team like that, it`s going to be difficult," the 35-year-old BMC team leader said in French.

    Froome, who took the polka-dot jersey as the Tour`s best climber, said he was surprised Evans couldn`t keep pace. The Australian was puffing and his face glistening with sweat as he crossed the finish.

    "I kept waiting for him to go, but he never really went. To me that says one thing — that he didn`t have the legs," Froome said. "It really wasn`t a big acceleration that I put in. I went for it and just coasted toward the line.

    "Hopefully he`s not holding anything back, and he`s not going to surprise us in the next few days. I think that he and Bradley looked to be quite on par."

    Wiggins said he was focusing on Evans.

    "It`s never over until it`s over, and obviously Cadel is still the defending champion. You saw today, he just never gives up — and that`s going to be the Cadel that we are going to see," Wiggins said. "It`s one day down of many to come, so just savor today."

    Asked if it was a two-man race, Wiggins said: "It`s looking that way."

    Team manager Dave Brailsford acknowledged Sky would be having an upbeat evening Saturday for the stage win and yellow jersey, plus other positive signs like strong climbs from Richie Porte and Froome.

    "We managed to stay out of trouble during that first week, that was important. We had a bit of a question mark about Richie because he crashed three times yesterday," he said. "But he was good."

    "And Froome showed (them) today ... Everybody was, `You know in the Vuelta, where does this guy come from?` He showed today he can back it up. And he`s one of the best climbers in the peloton right now."

    The stage marked the first of three summit finishes this year. Nimbler climbers took the limelight after a first week dominated by sprinters across the flatter regions of Belgium and northern France.

    The final ascent to La Planche des Belles Filles, at 3.1 miles, was relatively short as far as the Tour`s biggest climbs go. But it was steep, with a grueling 14-percent gradient in the last 500 yards.

    The Tour, in its 99th edition, had never previously led riders to La Planche des Belles Filles. According to the legend, centuries ago, a group of beautiful young French women — the "belles filles" — committed mass suicide in black waters of a lake to escape the looming clutches of Swedish invaders. But the leader of the Nordic horde had fallen in love with one of the women, and pulled out her lifeless body — carving a wooden epitaph to honor them.

    The three-week race takes riders on another bumpy ride on Sunday, with seven climbs in the 97.5-mile loop from Belfort to Porrentruy in Stage 8. The Tour ends July 22 in Paris.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  5. #5
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Composed Millar claims fourth win after long break

    Briton David Millar showed composure to claim his fourth Tour de France stage win when he prevailed in the 12th stage, a 226-km ride from St Jean de Maurienne on Friday.



    Garmin-Sharp rider Millar outsprinted France's Jean-Christophe Peraud at the end of a long-range breakaway and lay on the ground, exhausted, after crossing the line. Egoi Martinez of Spain came home third.
    Briton Bradley Wiggins had a safe day in the bunch and retained the overall leader's yellow jersey with an advantage of two minutes five seconds over compatriot and team mate Chris Froome.
    Millar, who had won his previous Tour stage nine years ago, was among 12 riders breaking away early in the day with two first-category climbs on the menu.
    The group was down to five men after the two climbs and Millar showed great composure in the finale.
    "Once in a group of five, I knew I was the best sprinter," Millar, who came back after a two-year doping suspension from 2004-06, told reporters.
    Saturday's 13th stage will take the peloton over 217 kilometres from St Paul Trois Chateaux to Cap d'Agde
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  6. #6
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Germany`s Greipel wins stage 13 of Tour de France

    Andre Greipel of Germany won the 13th stage of the Tour de France on Saturday.

    Britain`s Bradley Wiggins retained the overall leader`s yellow jersey as the race headed south to the Mediterranean.


    The windy and flat 134.8-mile run, with one major climb from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Le Cap d`Agde, was tailored for a win by one of the race`s sprinters.

    Greipel`s ability to get over the super-steep Mont Saint-Clair climb, in the picturesque port town of Sete about 14 miles from the finish, helped pave the way for his victory. Several other top sprinters — such as Britain`s Mark Cavendish — struggled up the hill and fell back.

    Greipel, who turns 30 on Monday, earned his third stage victory of this year`s Tour after winning the fourth and fifth stages in sprint finishes. Still-photo imagery showed he won by half a wheel`s length ahead of Slovakian rider Peter Sagan. Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway was third.

    Wiggins trailed close behind in the main pack. Overall, he leads his second-place Sky teammate and fellow Briton Christopher Froome by 2 minutes, 5 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy is third, 2:23 back, and defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia is 3:19 off the pace in fourth.




    Saturday`s route was known as a transitional stage because it was mostly flat, and guided riders away from their last big test — the Alps — and toward their next, the Pyrenees.

    Greipel`s Lotto Belisol team did the hard work of leading the pack through a wind-swept ride along the shore in pursuit of breakaway riders Michael Albasini and Alexandre Vinokourov, ultimately catching them.

    In a bold move, with less than a mile left, Wiggins powered up to the front of the pack with Sky teammate Boasson Hagen on his back wheel, trying to set up the Norwegian for the stage win.

    Greipel said he "speculated" that such a plot was being hatched. He pulled up just behind Hagen, then whizzed around him after a final bend and held on to the line.

    "I`m really happy with this victory ... it was once again a team effort," said Greipel, who has four career Tour stage wins. "The sprint was very long. I was just on the wheel of Boasson Hagen, and I saw that I could win if I just gave a little extra at the end."

    Wiggins said he led the late surge because he wanted to stay in front and out of possible trouble in a big final bend in the road. He also wanted to help Boasson Hagen to return a favor for his support in the Alps.

    "Once we knew that Cavendish wasn`t going to come back, everybody said we`d try to do the job for Edvald," Wiggins said. "Sometimes it`s just good to get on the front and try to repay a friend of mine back."

    Still, Spain`s Luis Leon Sanchez, who had been leading in a two-man breakaway that was overtaken by Wiggins, showed his frustration with an angry hand gesture against the man in the yellow jersey.







    Sanchez said he felt Sky was being too dominant and didn`t understand why Wiggins was working to help a teammate win a stage while in yellow himself.

    "It`s unfortunate. I can`t look after everyone in the peloton," said Wiggins, adding that he does "love" Sanchez as a person. "It`s a shame he feels like that."

    Sanchez later appeared to have second thoughts about his first reaction and wrote on Twitter, "I beg (at) bradwiggins` pardon. He is the leader of the race so he and his team have the right to do whatever they want."

    As the riders neared the coast, the stage`s big challenges arrived, including a windy ride between the Mediterranean Sea and the Bassin de Thau — known for its oyster farms.

    Riders swung their bikes left to right as if in slow motion as they arrived at Mont Saint-Clair, a mid-grade ascent over roughly a mile — but with an average gradient of 10.2 percent.

    Evans attacked on the Mont Saint-Clair and got a few seconds ahead of Wiggins, but the Briton and his other closest rivals for the yellow jersey all hung close on the Australian`s back wheel.

    However, the climb and the windy road to the finish split up the pack, with sprinters like Cavendish and Australia`s Matt Goss in a bunch that was more than 8½ minutes behind Greipel and the overall leaders.

    Sunday`s 14th stage takes riders along two big climbs over a 118-mile trek from Limoux to Foix.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  7. #7
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez wins 14th stage of Tour de France

    Luis Leon Sanchez used his time trial experience to claim a solo victory and Bradley Wiggins retained the yellow jersey on a controversial day at the Tour de France when dozens of riders where impeded by tacks strewn across the course in the 14th stage.

    Sanchez was among a group of five riders who broke away on the final ascent of the day, the Mur de Peguere, as the three-week race entered the Pyrenees on Sunday.

    He then made his decisive move 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the finish to claim his fourth Tour stage win. Green jersey holder Peter Sagan of Slovakia finished second, 47 seconds behind Sanchez. Frenchman Sandy Casar was third in the same time.

    "With Philippe Gilbert and Sagan in the breakaway, I knew that my only chance was to try my luck on my own from far away," said Sanchez, the Spain time trial champion.

    Wiggins and all other contenders crossed the finish line more than 18 minutes behind Sanchez.

    Wiggins, however, retained the race lead as the breakaway riders were lagging well behind in the overall standings.




    Wiggins, bidding to become the first British rider to win the Tour, leads Sky teammate Christopher Froome by 2 minutes, 5 seconds overall. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy is third, 2:23 off the pace.

    At least 30 riders suffered punctures during the stage after someone in the crowd of spectators apparently threw tacks on the road near the summit of the final climb of the day, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the finish.

    Defending Tour champion Cadel Evans was among the riders who sustained a puncture at the top of the climb. The Australian rider had to wait nearly two minutes before one of his teammates got there and gave Evans his rear wheel as a replacement.

    Wiggins didn`t attempt to use Evans` misfortune to his advantage and asked the peloton to slow down to allow the defending champion to return to the pack.

    Sanchez, who was hampered by a wrist injury during the first week of the race, crossed himself and pointed his fingers toward the sky as he went over the finish line.

    Sagan and two other riders managed to escape from the peloton after 35 kilometres (22 miles) during the descent after the first climb of the day, the second-category col du Portel. The 5.3-kilometre (3.3-mile) ascent split the bunch in two as RadioShack stars Andreas Kloden and Frank Schleck were dropped along with a group of about 60 riders.

    With Orica-GreenEdge cyclists organizing the chase in order to keep their sprinter Matt Goss in contention for the green jersey, Sagan, Sergio Paulinho and Steven Kruiswijk struggled to build their lead.

    But eight riders including Gilbert, Casar and Sanchez broke away in pursuit of Sagan`s trio and bridged the gap while the second peloton caught up with the yellow jersey`s group.







    With none of the 11 escapees posing a threat in the overall standings, they were given the freedom to continue and established a 10-minute lead at the 72-kilometre (45-mile) mark.

    The peloton`s deficit was more than 14 minutes at the foot of the first-category Port de Lers, a climb with an average gradient of 7 per cent.

    Despite the rain coming down on the climb and a drop in temperature, the ascent was uneventful as Wiggins` teammates set the tempo at the front of the pack while the Briton`s rivals did not dare a move.

    When Paulinho led the breakaway group over the summit, they were still 14 minutes ahead of the peloton. After a tricky and challenging descent on slippery roads, they increased the lead to 15 minutes before the final ascent of the day - the Mur de Peguere - a punishing climb with gradients as high as 18 per cent on some sections.

    Sanchez stayed on the wheel of Rabobank teammate Kruiswijk during the first few kilometres of the ascent before accelerating on the steepest part. That knocked a few riders out of the leading group, with Casar, Gilbert, Sagan and Gorka Izaguirre the only ones able to stand the pace.

    Evans tried to break away from the main pack in the Mur de Peguere but his attack lacked punch as Wiggins and Nibali responded immediately. Wiggins` teammates Froome and Richie Porte then moved in front of the peloton to re-establish control.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


  8. #8
    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    delhi
    Posts
    67,580
    Rep Power
    100

    Default Bradley Wiggins all but clinches Tour de France

    For Bradley Wiggins, the champagne on the Champs-Elysees is about to flow.

    He all but locked up the Tour de France title with a tour-de-force performance to win the final time trial — putting him on the cusp of becoming the first Briton to win cycling`s showpiece race.

    Wiggins blew away the field in Saturday`s race against the clock in Stage 19, his second Tour victory this year in a time trial, his specialty.

    "I really wanted to go out there and finish with a bang, and fortunately I was able to do that," said Wiggins, noting he realized the breadth of emotion when he spotted his mechanic in tears.

    Even before the Tour started, Wiggins was the favorite. The 32-year-old rider took the yellow jersey in Stage 7. Then came questions about the unity of his Sky Team, pre-race preparations and his ability to get up mountains — all of which he put to rest.

    There was also the absence of two-time Tour champion and cycling superstar Alberto Contador, who is serving a doping ban. That led many to wonder whether Wiggins was really the sport`s best.

    Wiggins has been vocal in his criticism of doping in cycling and said the sport may be changing after the sport`s governing body put tough controls in place.

    "I think the Tour is a lot more human now with everything the UCI is doing," he said, suggesting that dopers — and their intermittently astonishing performances — are being driven from the sport.

    Wiggins is a three-time Olympic track champion who made the difficult transition to road racing. He crashed out the Tour a year ago with a broken collarbone. He envied Australia`s Cadel Evans, who had the elation of winning the yellow jersey.

    "That was my motivation: I want to feel what he`s feeling," Wiggins said.

    The Team Sky leader obliterated the pack in the 33-mile ride from Bonneval to Chartres and punched the air and shouted as he crossed the finish line.

    Sunday`s ride to the finish on Paris` Champs-Elysees will be largely ceremonial — Wiggins is too far ahead for any competitor to erase his lead over the 75-mile ride from Rambouillet.

    After Saturday`s stage, with victory secure, Wiggins sighed and looked skyward as he hoisted the winner`s bouquet.

    "I have a lot of emotion right now," he said. "It`s the stuff of dreams to win the final time trial and seal the Tour."

    Wiggins was timed in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 13 seconds. Countryman and teammate Christopher Froome was second, 1:16 behind. Luis Leon Sanchez of Spain was third, 1:50 back. Overall, Wiggins has a 3:21 lead over Froome, who is second. Italy`s Vincenzo Nibali is third, 6:19 back.

    Riders set off one-by-one in the race against the clock in reverse order of the standings, and Wiggins` dominance was evident from the first time check. He was 12 seconds ahead of Froome after 8 ½ miles.

    Wiggins had a formidable lead coming into the stage. His only threat of any kind was from Froome, a successful time-trial rider, and less so from Nibali, who is not quite as strong in this discipline.

    Despite rumblings about behind-the-scenes competition between them, Froome proved a faithful teammate to the end.

    "As we saw today, he`s stronger than me," Froome told French TV, after hugging Wiggins. "I`m very happy. The (Sky) goal this year was to win the Tour with Bradley. To be second (for me) is an added plus."

    The big question mark concerned the riders below them: Whether young American Tejay Van Garderen could overtake Jurgen Van Den Broeck for fourth — he didn`t. Or whether Frenchman Pierre Rolland, a strong climber but not a time trialer, would stay in the top 10 — he did.

    The main change at the top involved Evans. He was passed by BMC teammate Van Garderen despite a three-minute head start and fell one spot to seventh in the overall standings.

    The mostly flat course passed fields of corn and wheat into Chartres, known for its towering cathedral with asymmetrical spires. The route presented few challenges other than the breeze.

    In the last six miles, Wiggins said his thoughts turned to his family. He was born in Belgium and raised by a single mother in the working-class area of Kilburn in northwest London. His father, a former racing cyclist, was largely absent from his life; he died in 2008.

    "Just thinking back to my childhood. My father leaving us when I was a kid and growing up with my mum in a flat," Wiggins said, recalling his grandfather`s death during the 2010 Tour. "My grandfather brought me up — he was my father role model."

    Wiggins also gave a nod to the legions of flag-waving Britons who flocked to France to watch the race this year, some dressing up as English knights or unfurling Union Jacks from car windows.

    "That`s something that touches me more because it`s difficult for the English with the French," Wiggins told French TV, in French.

    Wiggins was fourth in the 2009 Tour and 24th in 2010. But he has been the favorite to win in 2012 since his dazzling turn with three stage-race victories.

    This Tour has been about as favorable as it could be for Wiggins: he is among the world`s best in the time trial. Mountains — not his specialty — carried relatively less importance this time. But he proved through two days in the Alps and two in the Pyrenees that he`s among the best climbers, too.

    And now he can savor it all with champagne.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


Similar Threads

  1. The 2012 Tour de France, Part 1 of 2
    By imperium in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 15-07-2012, 10:31 PM
  2. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-07-2012, 07:49 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-07-2011, 08:49 PM
  4. Tour de France Crashes
    By DesiCasanova in forum Sports
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 25-08-2010, 06:54 PM
  5. Tour de France cycling race
    By ##rinku## in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 28-07-2009, 10:15 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •