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THE HISTORY MAN

By Pete Moore On July 21st, 2012

The Tour de France is one of the essential points of my sporting year. Not only is THE most physically demanding sporting contest something I follow every day of its three week torture, I’ve been over to France a few times to see it. If you ever get the chance to enjoy the unique atmosphere then grab it. This year’s Tour hasn’t only been particularly enjoyable, it’s been somewhat novel too, because Bradley Wiggins has just become the first British man ever to win it, and that’s something I never thought I’d see. I know that tomorrow is still to come, but that’s a procession into Paris and there’ll be no challenge. Champagne flutes will be handed around, Wiggins will lead the peloton, his Sky Team domestiques will keep him safe and the sprinters will have one last dust up. Given the sensational way Mark Cavendish caught and destroyed the challenge yesterday, you wouldn’t back against him bagging another stage win.

As if all that wasn’t heady enough for British cycling fans, Christopher Froome, fellow British teammate of Wiggins and Cavendish, secured a well-deserved second spot in the overall classification today, underlying their dominance this year and that of the Sky Team that’s bossed the peloton. They’ve been so dominant that the French have dubbed this year’s Tour La Promenade des Anglais.

So it’s a one-two for Great Britain on the Tour, the prospect of Cavendish tearing up the cobbles and Bradley Wiggins riding the Champs Elysees in the famous maillot jaune. His three Olympic gold medals already made him a cycling great; having now won today’s time trial and with it the Tour he joins a select band of legends.

It’s a stunning achievement, absolutely stunning.

18 Responses to “THE HISTORY MAN”

  1. Bravo!

  2. Sportsmanship is more important than winning. It’s good to win, but just as important is how you compete.
    The hysterical British press had Wiggins down as winning days ago, but Wiggins himself was far more circumspect, and therefore went up even further in my estimation.
    Congratulations Bradley!

    “There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night —
    Ten to make and the match to win —
    A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
    An hour to play and the last man in.
    And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
    Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
    But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
    “Play up! play up! and play the game!”

  3. Agit8ed –

    Sportsmanship is indeed just as important as winning.

    In that spirit, Wiggins’ sportsmanship in the Pyrenees a week ago ought to be mentioned. Cadel Evans, the reigning champion, was (IIRC) around two minutes behind Wiggins in the classification as the peloton summited the Mur de Pegure. A saboteur had thrown tacks across the road and Evans suffered three punctures in quick succession. Given that it was at the statrt of a rapid descent on a slippery day it was extraordinarily stupid.

    Instead of taking advantage, Wiggins slowed the peloton right down so Evans could recover and rejoin the riders.

  4. Yeah,
    I read that Pete.
    That’s what lifts your heart: not someone who so wants to win they resort to drugs, thereby tainting the whole thing.
    I hark back to the era of Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and of course, Seb Coe. It doesn’t bother me if they don’t win every time, because quite frankly some of the world’s athletes have genetic advantages. Blacks are well represented in and lead athletics, but as long as our guys keep on improving their pb’s and maintain a sporting attitude, I’m happy with that.

  5. Good for him. The Armstrong saga is a disgrace, I’d like to see some honor restored to the sport.

  6. I know very little about cycling but I recognise sporting greatness when I see it.
    Well done Wiggo and “Go Cav” for tomorrow.

  7. Indeed Pete.
    A fantastic achievement. And one unthinkable 10 years ago.
    My one regret is that my Dad is not here to see it……….

    @Mahons…Lance Armstrong has been found guilty of absolutely nothing….innocent until proven guilty!

  8. Good photo

  9. Then only 6 days to prepare for the Olympics. Astonishing.

  10. I hope he wins with pride and dignity, and in the same vein, in north west England, Grame McDowell is on the heels of the leader at the British Open, and I hope the UK has cause for a double celebration this evening.

  11. LU,G-Mac is Irish just like you

  12. Team Sky ,Wiggins and Cavendish best of British come on G-Mac.:-)

  13. Interesting article here on French attitude to Bradley Wiggins.
    What they admire about him is exactly what I admire in our sports men and women!

  14. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18899902

  15. Quite refreshing to see a native English speaking sportsman can speak another language fluently.

    Listening to footballers like Beckham trying to string a sentence together in their adopted tongue is embarrassing

  16. Paul,
    the English are not renowned for their linguistic abilities on account of how they circled the world with classic literature such as Shakespeare’s “English for Dummies”.
    In general these works of genius were not well received, but other English inventions such as the Snider Enfield, the Martini-Henry and the Lee Enfield 303 helped to boost sales..

    I bet I am the only bigmouth on ATW who speaks modern Hebrew, and I bet it will result in lots of snide remarks from my most fervent critics…. 🙂

  17. In general these works of genius were not well received, but other English inventions such as the Snider Enfield, the Martini-Henry and the Lee Enfield 303 helped to boost sales..

    Very very witty Agi 🙂

    I bet I am the only bigmouth on ATW who speaks modern Hebrew, and I bet it will result in lots of snide remarks from my most fervent critics

    Yeah, I recall how you learned the language on a kibbutz or something. I don’t thing anyone should be criticised for learning any language.

  18. It has been said Paul that the Germans are arrogant.
    Others would say that the English are also arrogant, but in terms of economic success, it’s easier to see what the Germans are arrogant about..
    Naturally I refute that opinion, but my grounds for doing so are somewhat shaky.