Bradley Wiggins - Stage 19 - 21 July 2012 — Bonneval to Chartres, 53.5 km (33.2 mi), individual time trial (ITT)

a day early.

It’s meant to be the final run in to Paris that’s the procession for the wearer of the yellow jersey, Bradley Wiggins put it in a day early to leave the rest of field in his wake.

Bradley Wiggins - Stage 19
Bradley Wiggins - Stage 19 - 21 July 2012 — Bonneval to Chartres, 53.5 km (33.2 mi), individual time trial (ITT)

On the penultimate stage, realistically the final stage of racing, Wiggins wanted to really stamp his authority on this race and by god did he do it. Adding another minute and a quarter to his lead over Sky team mate Chris Froome – who again finished second in the individual time trial – and even more to those lower down the GC standings. Nibali finding himself nearly another 3 minutes 40 seconds further back than he was at the start of the day. And those behind the podium spots are over 10 minutes back.

Yes Wiggins had shown some emotion over the last couple of days but it all came out in that punch as he crossed the line. Knowing he’d destroyed the field not only to win this his second stage but also the complete race.

This does put him on another level for British sport. Whatever anyone does in the Olympics it’s been done before. A Brit wins the Open, so what, many have been there before, hell Paul Lawrie did it. Nothing matches up to this a competition where British competitors have barely rated a mention over 109 years and 98 editions in General Classification.

Only 4 other Brits have worn that yellow jersey, they amassed 11 whole days between them, today will be Bradley’s 13th day in yellow, it moves him from nowhere to joint 40th of all time. Only he and one other, Robert Millar, have even come close to the podium, both having fourth places. There’s only been one other top 10 finish in all the other competitions, Tom Simpson’s 6th in 1962.

This is brand new territory and to go along with it there’s another Brit sitting second, 6 British stage wins, hopefully 7 with Cav and the Champs-Élysées coming this afternoon.

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