On this day in 2012: Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France

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Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first British man to win the Tour de France on this day in 2012.

Wiggins finished with a winning margin of three minutes and 21 seconds in the 99th edition of the race after safely negotiating the streets of Paris in the peloton following a stunning time-trial victory the previous day which had given him an almost unassailable lead.

The three-time Olympic track champion crossed the line arms raised having helped set up team-mate Mark Cavendish’s sprint victory in front of thousands of British fans on the Champs Elysees.

Bradley Wiggins, in the yellow jersey and riding a yellow bike
Wiggins became the first British man to win the Tour de France (PA)

“I don’t know what to say, I’ve had 24 hours for it to soak in,” said Wiggins, who had been favourite to win the previous year before being forced out with a broken collarbone after a crash.

“I’m still buzzing from the Champs Elysees, the laps go so quick. I’ve got to get used to that (being in the spotlight), it’s going to take a while.

“I’m just trying to soak it all in. You never imagine it will happen to you but it’s amazing.”

Bradley Wiggins rides through Paris with the Arc de Triomph in the background
Wiggins (yellow jersey) also helped team-mate Mark Cavendish (right) to a sprint victory in front of thousands of British fans on the Champs Elysees (PA)

Over three demanding weeks Wiggins toiled over the Alps and the Pyrenees to complete the mammoth 2,173-mile race, wearing the yellow jersey for 13 consecutive stages of the 20 raced.

Wiggins’ Team Sky colleague Chris Froome became the second Briton, after his team-mate, on the podium in the history of the race.

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