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Bradley Wiggins: 2012 Tour de France & Olympic Champion
2012 Tour de France Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist
If you follow the sport of cycling, then you know that history was made this July when British cyclist, Bradley Wiggins, became the first British rider to win the prestigious Tour de France. Not only did Wiggins win the grandest of cycling’s grand tours, he dominated it by wearing the leader’s yellow jersey for an astonishing fifteen days.
For his efforts in winning what many regard as the toughest event on earth, and for displaying good sportsmanship during a critical time in the race, Bradley Wiggins has been selected as the HubPages Athlete of the Month for July, 2012.
It’s certainly been an exciting summer over in Great Britain. With the 2012 Olympic Games coming to London, Bradley Wiggins has given the Brits something else to celebrate. In the 99th edition of Cycling’s ultimate test, Mr. Bradley Wiggins finally gave Great Britain a Tour de France champion. Displaying his unique combination of climbing skills to go along with his time trialing prowess, Wiggins captured the overall race leaders yellow jersey during Stage 7, on July 7th, and refused to relinquish it all the way to Paris. Along the way he kept his closest competitors at bay as his Sky Team controlled the race and managed to keep Wiggins out of trouble and away from accidents.
Into the mountains
Bradley Wiggins showed the world that not only is he a fierce competitor but he is also a good sportsman. During stage 14 of this year’s tour a rather unfortunate incident occurred when someone decided to throw tacks onto the road just as the riders were cresting the stages highest climb of the day, the Mur de Pegure. Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour Champion and one of Wiggins main competitor's, along with upwards of 30 other riders suffered flat tires due to this act of sabotage. Cadel Evans actually suffered three punctures and quickly found himself trailing the leaders by over two minutes as he waited on the side of the road for help from his team vehicle and teammates.
By the time Evans got his tire fixed and was back on the road, Bradley Wiggins and the other top contenders in the Tour were well on their way down the mountain. It was at this moment that Bradley Wiggins realized what had happened and made the decision to order the peloton (main pack of riders) to slow down to allow Cadel Evans the opportunity to catch up.
While there is an unwritten rule in the tour that you should not gain an advantage when a fellow competitor suffers a mechanical failure or similar misfortune it is not always adhered to. Bradley Wiggins showed that while he is a competitor he is also a sportsman. For doing the honorable thing, the French press have now dubbed Bradley Wiggins as “Le Gentleman”.
Cycling's Ultimate Test
For those of you not familiar with the Tour de France it is cycling’s ultimate event and takes place every year during the month of July.
While most of the race takes place within France it does occasionally venture into some of the surrounding countries. The race, however, always finishes in Paris with the final miles taking riders on multiple loops along the Champs-Elysees. The race typically last for three weeks and take riders over 2,000 miles as they race a route around France. The course changes yearly and it encompasses a variety of challenges from individual time trials to unbelievable mountain ascents. It is widely considered to be the toughest sporting event in the world.
Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins for winning the 2012 edition of the Tour de France and for exhibiting all the qualities of a true sportsman. They will be celebrating in Britain this summer.
© 2012 Bill De Giulio