World of Sport

Papers delight in Wiggins victory

World of Sport

On one of the busiest sporting days of the year, Britain's national newspapers unanimously lead with one story: Bradley Wiggins's historic victory in the Tour de France.

The Times celebrates Wiggins's achievement with a commemorative wraparound  cover to the newspaper with the headline "Promenade des Anglais" and a picture of Wiggins on the Champs Elysees.

On the back of the special cover is a fascinating poster with all sorts of interesting data and quotes from the champ, while inside Owen Slot pays tribute to a champion who has remained refreshingly unchanged by his success: "He is for ever a history maker, a ground-breaker, the first Briton to ride up the Champs Elysees wearing yellow. He had an outrageous dream and it was a complete pleasure watching him make it come true."

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The Times

The Daily Mirror also goes with a French headline: "Magnifique!" exclaims the front page - though that same front page also finds room to report that somebody had an affair with somebody who used to go out with somebody who works  on Coronation Street.

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Daily Mirror

The paper's chief sports writer Oliver Holt claims that the win instantly puts Wiggins up with the greatest of all time.

"There is a natural temptation this morning to acclaim Bradley Wiggins as the greatest British sportsman who has ever lived," he writes, though he does back away from that statement late in his analysis, perhaps realising that his typewriter keyboard was about to melt after churning out the most overblown sentence ever written in English.

The Independent's James Lawton also looks at the question of whether Wiggins is  Britain's greatest ever sportsman, but pours some cold water on proceedings as he goes way too far in the other direction: "No, he isn't," he grumbles, muttering about the question being, "the obsession of the age," before concluding that, "in a better-ordered sports culture the question would not even be posed."

The Guardian's coverage is more measured, leading with a 'Tour de Triomphe' headline, while inside William Fotherington pays extravagant homage to the winner: "It is a measure of sporting greats that they can write their own script, accept that the opposition is aware of it and then live up to expectations."

Fotherington also offers an interesting six-point analysis of why Wiggins won, looking at his planning, training, tactics, timing in context of his career, the favourable route... and the fact that the playing field has levelled to stop him being foiled by drugs cheats.

Most papers immediately start looking ahead to the Olympics, where Wiggins will again be trying to win gold.

"King of France... now for London," proclaims the Independent, which warns that Wiggo's chief lieutenant in France, Chris Froome, is the man who is most likely to deny Wiggins time trial gold at Hampton Court.

The Daily Mail doesn't even bother worrying about Olympic gold (and possibly nor will Wiggins, considering he already has three of them), instead wondering what the spoils will be.

The answer? "£20m and a knighthood next for wonderful Wiggins."

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Daily Mail

Inside, the paper lauds Wiggins and talks up his prospects of gold - yet they still do their best to pee in the punch with a long article written by former Tour de France cyclist Paul Kimmage openly questioning whether this year's Tour was really free of drug cheats, or whether they are just being too careful to get caught these days.

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Daily Star

Finally, the Daily Star gets in on the act by predicting that Wiggins will win gold - and lamenting the fact that Wiggins's wife Catherine failed to streak down the Champs Elysees after her other half won the Tour.

She apparently promised to do so before the race.The paper also suggests that before Wiggins  gets on his bike in London, he should be rewarded in a unique manner.

"Let him light Olympic flame!" the front page declares, claiming that 32-year-old should jump ahead of Daley Thompson and Steve Redgrave in the race to be given the ultimate honour at London 2012.

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