2012 may not be looking back too far, but it was a monumental year for both the Tour de France and British cycling. Sky all-rounder Bradley Wiggins had been on top form all year, stealing gold in the London Olympic Games time trial and showing a strong position by the time the Tour came around. Expectations were high, but only as high as any other year for any other high-profile star riders.
Fabian Cancellara was a favourite from the start, and up until stage 6 he was a clear winner with the yellow jersey firmly on his back, and many tense European spectators relaxed a little, dismissing the idea of an Englishman ever winning the tour. But all was about to change very soon, as Sir Bradley Wiggins was about to emerge from the undercurrent.
By the end of the seventh stage, Wiggins had finished third to wear the yellow jersey for the first time. At the time it was a tremendous turn-around for the Brit, but no one knew that he would keep the yellow jersey for another fourteen stages and take home the general classification title.
Bradley Wiggins’ time trial victory towards the end of the 2012 tour, has given him a lead that wasn’t about to be compromised, and so when it came to the final stage, he was able to almost cruise through the streets of Paris with graceful ease and an air of cool about him.
His Tour de France victory that summer really did bring it all back home, and 2012 truly proved itself to be the year of Sir Bradley Wiggins. For all the English fans watching, they will never forget where they were the day Wiggo rode past the Arc de Triomphe and took the title for Team Sky and England. Sir Bradley Wiggins was the first British person to win the Tour de France, and the next year, Chris Froome would become the second.