Tour De France 2012 Winner: Recapping Bradley Wiggins' Race to Finish

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJuly 22, 2012

Tour De France 2012 Winner: Recapping Bradley Wiggins' Race to Finish

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    Bradley Wiggins has become the the first man from Great Britain to ever win the Tour de France, beating out fellow countryman and Team Sky teammate Chris Froome for the victory.

    This historic victory comes after 87 hours 34 minutes and 47 seconds of cycling for Wiggins, and a consistent performance during which he was almost constantly in contention.

    He won just two stages, but he rode well enough to take home the victory and lead Team Sky's two-headed monster.

    Let's recap how he came to become the first British rider to take home cycling's most coveted prize.

New Training

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    Bradley Wiggins' quest for a Tour de France title came well before the event started. He brought in a new training regimen that helped strengthen him enough to become the best rider in the world.

    According to The Guardian, coaches Tim Kerrison and Shane Sutton helped Wiggins plan for the Tour and he started his intense training that he would normally save until the season began during November (a time when he usually took off).

    Wiggins knew he didn't have much time left in the sport, so he decided to go all-out every day to be in the best shape of his life.

    Looks like it paid off.

No Pressure

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    Along with Wiggins' new training came a new race schedule.

    Per The Guardian, he chose to races fewer times, but he would always race to win. Because he was fresher during his races, he had a highly successful season in terms of wins and the Tour was not going to be the deciding factor about whether or not his season was a good one.

    Because he didn't necessarily have to win the event, Wiggins didn't have as much pressure on him, which contributed to his victory.

Stage 9

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    Wiggins' first win didn't come until Stage 9, which was almost halfway through the competition. However, this was the first of two long time trials that he had to do well on and he certainly did so.

    Wiggins blew the competition away, winning by an incredible 35 seconds over the next closest rider, who happened to be teammate Chris Froome.

    He needed a big race here and he found a way to do so. This huge victory helped propel him to becoming a contender for the championship.

Mountains

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    The biggest question for Wiggins coming into the Tour was how he would handle the mountains. Luckily for Wiggins, the route favored him.

    With two long time trials and the mountains not being too extreme in this year's event, he had a distinct advantage.

    However, the route was not the only reason Wiggins won. He did incredibly well on the mountain stages and did not surrender much time to the leaders during those stages.

    Wiggins did so well that he was leading during the last few stages and had a decent lead heading into the last time trial.

Stage 19

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    The second lengthy time trial came on the second-to-last stage and was a huge boost for Wiggins.

    After winning by more than a minute over the field and more than four against his closest competitor (h/t ESPN), he essentially won the Tour on Saturday.

    However, he still had one more race, and as expected, he was able to keep his incredible lead and win the event.