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Bradley Wiggins: 2012 Tour De France & Olympic Champion

Bradley Wiggins, on his way to victory in the 2012 Tour de France.

Bradley Wiggins, on his way to victory in the 2012 Tour de France.

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.

Bradley Wiggins during Stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France.

Bradley Wiggins during Stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France.

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

Wiggins with teammate in the mountains.

Wiggins with teammate in the mountains.

Bradley Wiggins tucked safely behind his Sky teammates.

Bradley Wiggins tucked safely behind his Sky teammates.

"Le Gentlemen"

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”.

The mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees provide quite the challenge.

The mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees provide quite the challenge.

Map of the 2012 Tour de France route

Map of the 2012 Tour de France route

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.

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

© 2012 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on August 28, 2012:

Thanks TT. I've always been a fan of the Tour de France. Would love to go and see it in person some day. Thanks for the read and comment, have a great day.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on August 28, 2012:

Great information, bd, and great coverage of one of the coolest bike races out there. :)

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on August 02, 2012:

No problem Alun. I was following it at work so I knew the result. Thanks for the concern.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on August 01, 2012:

Ooops - I hope you weren't avoiding learning of the result before watching a recording - a result which I then revealed in my comment. If so, sorry !!!!!!! :-)

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on August 01, 2012:

Hi Alun. Glad you enjoyed it. Will be watching the time trial tonight. Wiggins is a great spokesman for British athletes and for Britain in general. Good for him for capturing the Gold medal in the time trial.

Thanks for reading, commenting and the vote.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on August 01, 2012:

A really nicely produced tribute to Bradley Wiggins Bill, summarising what he achieved with great pictures and a beautifully presented hub. Voted up.

Of course for Wiggins, the Tour de France was not the end of the road - I write just minutes after Wiggins has continued his winning form with Olympic Gold in the Cycling Time Trial. It is his 4th gold medal and his 7th Olympic medal in total - the greatest number for a British sportsman in history.

Thanks. Alun.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on July 28, 2012:

Hi Melovy. I am watching it also as I type, they just mentioned Bradley Wiggins now and mentioned his Tour de France victory.

The Tour de France is grueling. It is considered one of the, if not the, toughest sporting event in the world. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Have a great day.

Yvonne Spence from UK on July 28, 2012:

We were just watching Bradley Wiggins cycling in the Olympics a few minutes ago. The race isn't finished yet, so hoping he does well again. Thanks for highlighting Bradley; the Tour de France must be a very challenging event.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on July 23, 2012:

Hi Nomascus concolor. Thanks for reading and commenting. He should be one of the favorites in the Olympics. Have a great day.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on July 23, 2012:

Thanks Christy. He is very deserving. Turning out to be a great summer over in Britain. Have a great day.

Nomascus concolor from A Country called Earth on July 23, 2012:

He is now off to the Olympics - no rest for the champions!!! Great hub take care!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 23, 2012:

Glad you spotlighted Bradley - he so deserves all of the great attention!

Liam Hallam from Nottingham UK on July 22, 2012:

Great hub

Be aware of your photo sources as you could fall foul of legal issues. I'm pretty sure roadcyclinguk will have paid for the rights to that first photo