Bradley Wiggins was victorious in Paris yesterday and British and Sky cycling fans across the globe will have been celebrating ever since. Bradley is the first British rider ever to win the Tour de France, which makes the moment that little bit extra special (well for us in the UK anyway…). Aside from Wiggins’ triumph, Sky also had a couple of other reasons to celebrate, with Chris Froome finishing on the second step of the podium and Mark Cavendish winning the final stage on the Champ Elysees, taking his tally up to four wins on the famous French avenue. Impressive performances from Peter Sagan (who was riding in his first Tour), Thomas Voeckler and Chris Anker Sorensen to name just a few, all spiced things up at this year’s Tour, and made for some great viewing.
There’s some impressive statistics from the Tour de France this year. A total of 153 riders crossed the line in Paris, after having completed 21 stages and racing for over 86 hours – not to mention that over 20 million calories were burned across the duration of the Tour by all the finishing riders. While we locate some more big numbers for you, Let’s take a look at the winners of the 2012 Tour de France…
The Yellow Jersey:
With this year’s Tour favouring those with a strength in time trialling, this year was always going to suit the Sky rider. Wiggins was right at the front of the general classification throughout July, never dropping below 2nd place. There were expectations that the mountains may scupper the chances of the Londoner, but with some solid pre Tour preparation and the likes of Chris Froome supporting him when the gradient started to steepen, Wiggins’ made it through the mountains . Obviously Wiggins’ amazing time trialling ability provided him with enough of a buffer to ensure he carried the yellow jersey all the way across the line in Paris last Sunday, but he even impressed when it mattered most in the mountains. Prize money of €450,000 will certainly buy the Mod rider quite a few scooters.
As I’m sure everyone in the British Isles is aware – Bradley Wiggins is the first rider from the UK to ever win the Tour de France. Crossing the line in Paris, Bradley was extremely gracious in victory and handled the magnitude of his achievement with great dignity.
Well, with the UK now having a day or so to let the news sink in, Wiggo fever will start to spread throughout the nation. We may even see a surge in oversized side burns make a come back… Politicians and celebrities alike are all jumping on the Wiggo bandwagon and without a doubt, British people across the globe will remember this victory for many, many years to come – and quite right too!
Perhaps we should have known Wiggins was going to have a good year at the Tour right from the start. After all, his victory at the Dauphine showed he was going into this year’s Tour in the best form of the season, just at the right time.
The Green Jersey:
Hopes for Mark Cavendish to repeat his 2011 Tour success by regaining the green jersey was always going to be a far reach, with Team Sky’s priority being to get Bradley in the yellow. But it was a 22 year Slovak who goes by the name of Peter Sagan that donned the green jersey on the podium in Paris.
This was Sagan’s first Tour and many had predicted that the Liquigas rider would gain a stage win or two, but few could have foreseen his dominance in the race for the green jersey. Sagan came off the back of a good performance at the Tour de California and showed he was able to compete with the best in the world of sprinting. Watch this space as we’re sure you’ll be seeing this name in plenty of years to come.
King of the Mountains classification:
Thomas Voeckler rode the Tour with the weight of a nation on his shoulders. The Frenchman had a very impressive 2011 Tour, spending 10 days in the yellow jersey, and narrowly missing out on the podium. This year we saw the trademark attacking style of the Europcar rider at it’s best. The plucky French rider also picked up two stage wins along the way including a monumental effort in stage 16 which saw him solo to a great victory in the Pyrenees.
Young Riders’ classification:
When Cadel Evans dropped off the back of the yellow jersey group during stage 16 in the mountains, some BMC fans must have thought the Tour was over for the US based cycling team. However, all was not lost with Tejay van Garderen bringing home the bacon in the form of the young riders white jersey. Having been won by Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador in previous years, this is a great indicator of things to come for the young American rider.
Super combative award:
The super combative award, also known as the most aggressive rider award, is given to the rider who shows the most combative style of riding throughout the Tour. It may not be the best known award at the Tour de France, but with a prize money of € 20,000 being awarded, it’s certainly hotly contested by many. This year saw Chris Anker Sorenson take home the spoils with some impressive breaks and great big ring riding across several stages.
In terms of the team classification this year, it was RadioShack Nissan Trek who came in with a 6 minute lead over second place Team Sky. The team classification is decided by accumulating the final times of each team’s first 3 riders each day. The consistency of Jens Voigt, Chris Horner and Andreas Kloden, among others, all helped bring home the bacon for RSNT. With Andy Schleck sustaining an injury in a warm up race at the Dauphine, and his older brother leaving the Tour under dubious circumstances, at least RSNT fans have something to celebrate.
The ‘Lanterne Rouge’:
Although the ‘Lanterne Rouge’ doesn’t quite fall under the same prestige as the other Tour honours, it is still an integral part of the TdF.
The infamous ‘Lanterne Rouge’ is awarded to the rider who finishes last in the general classification. This year it was Jimmy Engoulvent of Saus Sojasun who fws ‘awarded’ this honour. While he came in last, just finishing the Tour is a massive achievement that only an elite few could ever manage.
TdF 2012 in numbers.
Finally we take a look at the Tour de France’s vital statistics:
The number of riders who finished this year’s Tour.
Estimated amount of fans that lined the streets for the 2011 TdF.
The amount that Chris Anker Sorensen will pocket for winning the Super combative award.
The average amount of calories burnt by a rider who completed the Tour burnt.
The number of TdF’s George Hincapie has completed before he hung up his cleats after this year’s race.
The amount of girls who apply to be a podium girl each year.
The total number of hours spent in the saddle by a cyclist who completed this year’s TdF.
So that’s the Tour for another year. We hope our PBK Tour round up helps you deal with your post Tour depression. As always we want to hear your opinions. What were your highlights of this year’s TdF? Has the Tour inspired you to get out on your bike more? If so why not visit PBK for all your pro cycling essentials.