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Wiggins becomes first Briton to win Tour de France


Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France when he claimed the 99th edition of the greatest cycling race on Sunday. Wiggins finished safe in the bunch on the 20th and last stage, a 120-km ride from Rambouillet won by Sky team mate and fellow Briton Mark Cavendish, the first reigning world champion to win on the Champs Elysees.


Overall, Wiggins led Sky compatriot Chris Froome by three minutes 21 seconds and Italian Vincenzo Nibali by 6:19.


Wiggins, the first rider to win an Olympic track gold medal and the Tour, snatched the yellow jersey in the seventh stage.


Only Froome appeared to be able to unsettle Wiggins, but the Kenyan-born rider was ordered by Team Sky to stay put after accelerating in the ascent to La Toussuire in the Alps.


Froome was again close to giving in to temptation in the Pyrenees, when he repeatedly gained a few metres on Wiggins in the climb to Peyragudes, urging his team leader to follow the pace with conspicuous hand gestures. Wiggins refused to be drawn into controversy, but sports director Sean Yates later said he had asked Froome not to move away from his team mate.


Wiggins’ Tour exploits were even saluted at the British Open golf championship in northern England where a yellow jersey was draped on a scoreboard near the 10th hole.


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