Tour De France Stage 20 Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Elysees

23/07/2012   |   Posted by jeremy

Stage 20 Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Elysees   120km

Yesterday was the greatest day in British cycling history, it’s as simple as that. Make no mistake about it, what happened on the Champs Elysees in Paris was nothing short of amazing. If you have been living in a cave in the Ural Mountains for the last three weeks you will not know what has just happened to British cycling. I say British cycling because that is what it is and always has been. None of this English until we lose nonsense, for some reason cycling has escaped this weird train of thought that in some way we have to hang on to whatever thread of our nationality we can, i.e. the English have lost it again, so now we will support the Scots or the Welsh etc. Cycling has always been a joint British effort.

The day’s stage started out as the usual last day of the Tour does, with a fairly leisurely ride towards Paris. The weather was beautiful which was a blessing as it had not been that good all week in the north of the country. The riders were happy and relaxed and could be seen chatting to one another without any pressure to breakaway or chase down. The crowds were out in force with flags to cheer and wave as the riders went past.

 As the peloton entered Paris and moved towards the Champs Elysees there was a change. There was a breakaway. First three men went off the front and made a small gap and they were then joined by a much larger bunch. This group then pulled out a 30 second lead. There were eight laps to complete before the riders crossed the finish line. At the front of the breakaway there was another jump by three riders. This group included Jens Voigt of Radioshack-Nissan. At 41 years old he is one of the old men of the Tour but his drive to keep this breakaway out front was impressive.

 The original breakaway was taken back into the peloton but these three guys were determined to stay away as long as they could. They maintained a gap of 25 seconds with 10km to go and they were coming up to the bell to mark the start of the last lap. Back in the peloton there didn’t seem to be enough force from any one team to catch them. They all knew though that if someone didn’t make a move soon then it would be too late. Finally a mixture of Sky, Liquigas and a few others from Saxobank mustered themselves and drove on to catch them.

On the last lap as the riders appeared from the road tunnel and took a left along the Rue de Rivoli. It was the overall leader Bradley Wiggins that was working hard to get Cavendish into the position he needed ready for sprint to the line. As they got to the last sweeping corner at the Place de la Concrde, Wiggins eased up to let Edvald Boasson Hagen come through to lead Mark Cavendish to the final straight. Cav then made his move and drove to the line like a missile, to be the stage winner and he was clear of the rest by a good margin. Peter Sagan of Liquigas came in second place. As Cav crossed the line he held up four fingers to donate the fourth victory in four years on the Champs Elysees. As Brad crossed the line he waved both arms in the air.

A fantastic result for team Sky and as I said earlier, a fantastic result for British cycling. There then followed the giving of the trophies and a brief speech from Bradley who, when he was handed the microphone turned to the crowed and said that “we’ll start with the raffle first”. Then he said “ take care and don’t get too drunk”. This was a typical Bradley Wiggins type comment and showed his dry sense of humour.

Well that’s it for another year. Now we have the Olympics to look forward to. Brad and the Sky team are already back in the country where the Olympic squad will continue their prep for the start.

 Mark Cavendish will be the first man on show for the road race on the 28th. So good luck Cav, not that I think you will need it as I think you want this medal more than any of the other competitors.

Overall Results

Yellow Jersey

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Bradley Wiggins

Team Sky

87hrs 34mins 47secs

2

Chris Froome

Team Sky

+3mins 21secs

3

Vincenzo Nibali

Liquigas-Cannondale

+6mins 19secs

4

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Lotto-Belisol

+10mins 15secs

5

Tejay van Garderen

BMC Racing

+11mins 04secs

6

Haimar Zubeldia

RadioShack-Nissan

+15mins 41secs

7

Cadel Evans

BMC Racing

+15mins 49secs

8

Pierre Rolland

Europcar

+16mins 26secs

9

Janez Brajkovic

Astana

+16mins 33secs

10

Thibaut Pinot

FDJ-BigMat

+17mins 17secs

Green Jersey

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Peter Sagan

Liquigas-Cannondale

421pts

2

Andre Greipel

Lotto-Belisol

280pts

3

Matthew Goss

Orica Greenedge

268pts

King of the Mountains

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Thomas Voeckler

Europcar

135pts

2

Fredrik Kessiakoff

Astana

123pts

3

Chris Anker Sorenson

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank

77pts

White Jersey

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Tejay van Garderen

BMC Racing

87hrs 45mins 46secs

2

Thibaut Pinot

FDJ-BigMat

+6mins 13secs

3

Steven Kruijswijk

Rabobank

+1hr 05mins 48secs

Top British riders

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Bradley Wiggins (1st)

Team Sky

87hrs 34mins 47secs

2

Chris Froome (2nd)

Team Sky

+3mins 21secs

3

Stephen Cummings (94th)

BMC Racing

+2hrs 46mins 28secs

 

Comments