Tour de France Wrap-Up: Wiggins Wins

Staff Writer
First Brit ever to win a Grand Tour event in road cycling

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) won the Tour de France in fine fashion yesterday, charging into Paris at the head of the peloton in order to set up teammate Mark Cavendish for his third sprint victory of the race. Leading into the weekend, Wiggins' victory was all but assured. He and his lieutenant, South African-born Brit Chris Froome, maintained a stranglehold on the top two positions in the peloton from stage 11 through to the Champs-Élysées in what some critics are calling a yawn-inducing 2,000km of road racing (e.g. "It had drama the way Congress has compromise.").

But the pair certainly earned their places on the podium, with Froome consistently the strongest rider in the mountains and Wiggins winning both individual time trials in spades. In taking home the maillot jaune, Wiggins became the first Brit ever to win the Tour de France, as well as the first to win any grand tour. This victory builds upon British Cycling's eight-medal haul at the Beijing Olympics, and is being hailed by many as one of the greatest achivements in British sporting history. VeloNews is calling it the completion of the UK's cycling renaissance, which is no small claim. In fact, London tabloids are already calling for Wiggins to be knighted by the Queen at the start of the new year. The man himself, meanwhile, is steeling his nerves for his next big test, only five days away: the Olympic road racing championships.

Elsewhere in the peloton, George Hincapie (BMC Racing), riding in his 17th and final Tour, took a long honorary turn at the head of the pack Sunday as the race headed toward Paris. "The Big American," as he's known in the pro circuit, has ridden more Tours than any other rider ever, completing all but one and riding on nine Tour-winning teams along the way.

The final results for the 2012 Tour de France, with 20 days of racing over 3,947 km, are as follows:

General Classification (aka the yellow jersey, for the overall winner)
1. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, in 87:34:47
2. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at +03:21
3. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at +06:19
4. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at +10:15
5. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at +11:04
6. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, RadioShack-Nissan, at +15:41
7. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at +15:49
8. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at +16:31
9. Janez BRAJKOVIC, Astana, at +16:38
10. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ-BigMat, at +17:17

Points Classification (aka the green jersey, for the top sprinter)
1. Peter SAGAN, Liquigas-Cannondale: 421 points

Best Young Rider Classification (aka the white jersey, for the under-26 rider with the best time)
1. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, in 87:45:51

King of the Mountains (aka the pink polka-dot jersey, for the top climber)
1. Thomas VOECKLER, Europcar: 135 points

Team Classification (figured by adding together the times from each team's top three finishers from each stage)
1. Radioshack-Nissan, in 263:12:14
2. Sky Procycling, at +05:46
3. BMC Racing Team, at +36:29
4. Astana Pro Team, at +43:22
5. Liquigas-Cannondale, at +1:04:55
6. Movistar Team, at +1:08:16
7. Team Europcar, at +1:08:46
8. Katusha Team, at +1:12:46
9. Fdj-Big Mat, at +1:19:30
10. Ag2r La Mondiale, at +1:41:15