Tour de France 2012: Wiggins in Yellow
Record-breaking day for the Brits
By Larysa Pachulski,
4:34PM, Mon. Jul. 23, 2012
God save the queen innit! Record-breaking day for the Brits! It is officially the end of the Tour de France 2012 (and the end of life as we know it). The Tour has ended with a Brit in yellow for the first time in history.
The Brits have been waiting 99 years for this moment and they've earned it. A British invasion on a scale not seen since four gents from Liverpool claimed to want to hold our hands and love us eight days a week (a little assertive if you ask me). By the end of today's stage we had a Brit in yellow (first place), a Brit in second place, and a Brit for the stage win in the last stage of the Tour. All in all, a brilliant and memorable Tour.
Like every stage since the first on June 30, the last one was not lacking in excitement. There is typically a break away in the final stage of the Tour, but seeing as how the final sprint into Paris is arguably the most important, trumping all others in the weeks prior, the break away is monitored closely by the peloton and never allowed to get too far ahead on the eight laps around the Champs-Élysées.
But yesterday Jens Voigt and two others decided to rebel against tradition (OK, mostly Jens). They were in the break away which formed almost immediately upon arrival at the Champs and lasted until 1 km to the finish line! Alas, the break away riders were caught and very shortly thereafter the sprinters jetted out from behind their lead out trains (which consisted of the man in yellow himself, for sprinter Mark Cavendish's "Manxy" lead out train). Of course Manxy, who has had to expend a lot of energy this Tour helping his team, road his way back to the center of attention when he crossed the finish line first in a brilliant sprint stumping all of his competitors.
After Manxy crossed the finish line, I don't think there was a dry eye in Paris, and certainly not in Britain. Though race officials, who are mostly French themselves, prefer to see a French rider win the Tour, even they could not be upset by the results of Tour de France 2012. No one who has been following the Tour for the last couple of years can deny the efforts of Bradley Wiggins whom we have seen suffer in Tours past, toiling away trying to make podium.
This year he came with a plan. Though many said that he obtained the yellow jersey too early (stage 7), Wiggins never faltered and, in fact, spent the remaining stages widening the gap between himself and every other rider in contention. There were many casualties of Tour 2012 and many teams who stuck their necks out every day (RadioShack Nissan Trek, for example, who won best team overall), but Team Sky, and notably, Wiggins, Christopher Froome, and Cavendish road like they meant it every single day of the Tour. They deserve this win. They have made their country proud. On to the Olympics, boys. Good luck. Bonne chance.