Bradley Wiggins wins Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins celebrates his overall victory on the podium after the final 20th stage of the 99th...

Bradley Wiggins celebrates his overall victory on the podium after the final 20th stage of the 99th Tour de France cycling race between Rambouillet and Paris, July 22, 2012. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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, Last Updated: 12:43 PM ET

PARIS - Bradley Wiggins completed his first Tour de France championship on Sunday and became the first British rider to win cycling’s most prestigious event.

Wiggins held the coveted yellow jersey as the Tour’s overall leader since Stage 7 and on Sunday rode into Paris triumphantly with his Sky racing teammates. He completed 120 kilometers from Rambouillet to the historic Champs Elysees among the peloton, just nine seconds behind teammate Mark Cavendish, who won the final stage in the French capital for a fourth time.

Cavendish finished in a time of 3 hours, 8 minutes and 7 seconds for his third stage win of the 2012 Tour and the 23rd of his career. The British rider from the Isle of Man also won Stage 2 and Stage 18 this year.

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who also won three stages this year, finished just behind Cavendish, followed by Matthew Harley Goss of Australia. Sagan, in his first Tour, won the green jersey as the sprinters’ champion.

Wiggins was credited with a 54th-place finish on Sunday and with the same time of teammate and fellow Brit Christopher Froome, who was the overall runner-up. Froome, 58th on Sunday, finished 3 minutes and 21 seconds behind Wiggins.

Following the jersey presentations and the playing of the British national anthem, Wiggins was thankful for his first Tour title.

“It’s been a magical couple of weeks. Some dreams come true,” said Wiggins, who also addressed the numerous British fans waving the Union Jack. ”Thank you everyone. Have a safe journey home and don’t drink too much.”

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali was third overall, 6:19 behind the champion, while 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans of Australia was seventh overall — 15:49 off the championship pace.

Tejay Van Garderen was the top American and the winner of the white jersey as the top young rider. He was fifth overall and 11:04 behind Wiggins.

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler won the polka dot jersey as the top climber.


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