LONDONER Bradley Wiggins declared “some dreams do come true” yesterday after completing his quest to become the first British man to win cycling’s greatest race, the Tour de France.
On a joyous afternoon for Team Sky in Paris, Wiggins helped colleague and compatriot Mark Cavendish claim a fourth successive victory on the Champs-Elysees in the Tour’s traditional sprint finish.
It marked the glorious completion of Team Sky’s mission to produce a British winner, made even sweeter by another of their riders, Chris Froome, ending up as Wiggins’ closest challenger.
Wiggins, whose fourth place in 2009 had been the previous best by a cyclist from this country, thanked the thousands of Britons who flocked to the French capital to witness his historic triumph.
“It’s been a magical couple of weeks,” he said. “Some dreams do come true. My old mother over there – her son’s just won the Tour de France. Thank you everyone. Cheers. Have a safe journey home and don’t get too drunk.”
The outspoken 32-year-old initially bemused his audience when taking the podium to receive the yellow jersey by quipping: “We’re just going to draw the raffle numbers now.”
Wiggins and Edvald Boasson Hagen led Cavendish to the front with 1km to go and the Manxman darted to his third Tour stage victory on 2012 and 23rd overall.
Cavendish, who hopes to repeat the victory in five days’ time when he vies for Olympic road race gold on The Mall, toasted “an amazing Tour” for the British outfit.
“It couldn’t be more perfect,” he said after the Tour’s 99th year. “Four years ago the aim was to win the yellow jersey and we’ve done it with a one-two. We’ve got one more job to do next week.”