Bradley Wiggins
British cyclist Bradley Wiggins pedaled his way into the record books on Sunday, as the first ever British winner of the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins has made history by becoming the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France since the race was founded 109 years ago.

Wiggins, 32, crossed the finish line on Paris's Champs Elysees on 22 July, three minutes and 21 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

The Londoner finished the 3,479km race in 87 hours, 34 minutes and 47 seconds. Although he finished only 54th in the final day's sprint, this was comfortably enough for overall success.

Wiggins was virtually guaranteed victory going into the final stage, having built a near-unassailable lead over the Tour's previous legs. With victory assured, he was able to coax his compatriot Mark Cavendish to victory in the final day's sprint event, adding to British celebrations at the finish.

Indeed Britain secured a '1-2' finish on the podium, with Wiggins' fellow Team Sky rider, Chris Froome, finishing in second place, having provided tactical support to Cavendish throughout the race.

Compatriots have not taken the top two places on the final podium since 1984.

"Still buzzing"

Following completion of the final sprint, Wiggins - who had led the Tour for 13 consecutive stages - was presented with his trophy in front of the Arc de Triomphe.

Speaking after the trophy presentation, Wiggins was quoted by the Telegraph as saying:

"Now I've come out of my bubble I start to realise what it means to all these people who've come over here. That turn near the Arc (de Triomphe), was just a sea of Brits and the noise was phenomenal.

"I'd like to think my victory stands for a lot more than just adding my name to the names that went before me. I think cycling is changing and I hope my victory goes down for the right reasons. I like to think it will be remembered in a positive sense.

"I hope this gives people hope and belief, because this is a fantastic sport and people love it."

Britain's most high-profile public figures sent Wiggins a string of congratulatory messages following his triumph. Prime minister David Cameron told the BBC that, "like everyone else in the country, I'm absolutely delighted.

"Bradley Wiggins has scaled one of the great heights of British sporting achievement. It's an immense feat of physical and mental ability and aptitude."

Meanwhile, opposition leader Ed Miliband tweeted: "Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins. Extraordinary achievement."


Wiggins boasts six Olympic medals, including three golds, and says he has already switched his focus to further success at London 2012.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Everything turns to the Olympics and I'll be out on the bike on Monday. I've got an Olympic time trial to try and win."

However he added that "it's a little weird to leave Paris without a party, because it would be nice to spend time with the team and really enjoy it."