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TdF Stage 20 Rambouillet – Paris Champs-Élysées

July 29, 2012

The fairy tale for Wiggins, Sky and British cycling is complete. Wiggins finished in style and was working for the team today. The peleton took it easy for the first few hours which is typical of the last day of the tour. Once on the Champs-Élysées they started racing. At one stage it looked possible that a break might spoil the sprinters’ day. Sky and Liquigas teamed up to pull them back.

The whole Sky teamed worked hard to put Cavendish in the perfect position rounding the last corner. Cavendish went early but had a slight jump on the field. Goss was on his wheel but did not have the strength to pull along side. Sagan made up a lot of ground late and overtook Goss but was still well behind. Cavendish showed his stamina and held out for a record fourth win on the Champs-Élysées.

None of the jerseys changed hands. Wiggins takes out the general classification, Sagan the points by a huge margin, Voeckler the mountains, van Garderen the young rider, Chris Anker Sörensen the combative prize mainly due to his bizarre finger chopping incident the other day and the dysfunctional RadioShackNissanTrek the team competition.

Another tour is finished. A historic race for the British with their first win. A nation that has been involved for a long time but until very recently it did not look possible that they could develop a race winner. That all changed with Sky forming a formidable team and bringing the management talent of the track programme. It took a few years to convert that to the road, but the other teams will now be worried about the future. Sky could repeat the win in many races for several years. Their hardest job now will be keeping their stars. For now, they can enjoy the moment and celebrate a great year.

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