Wiggins ready for coronation as first British champion | 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...
CHARTRES, 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," said Wiggins, noting he realized the breadth of emotion when he spotted his mechanic in tears.
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.
After Saturday's stage, with victory secure, the 32-year-old 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 finished 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.
• Tejay Van Garderen dedicated his seventh-place effort in the final time trial to the victims of the deadly shootings at a movie theater in Colorado, his home state. The 23-year-old Tacoma-born rider lives in Boulder. He says he had the victims in his mind.
Van Garderen is all but guaranteed to win the white jersey as the race's best young rider. He would be the first American to do so since Andy Hampsten in 1986.