Tour de France: British trio triumph

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins – Tour de France winner

The Tour de France – what a magnificent British triumph for Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish!

Surely, it had to be the best day ever for British cycling in the history of the sport.

Better than Boardman, more stunning than Simpson and possibly superior to Beijing’s velodrome gold rush.

Wiggins’ victory, the first in 99 years of the Tour de France, is as epic as England winning the World Cup in 1966 or our rugby team  beating Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Even Sir Chris Hoy has gone on record as saying it’s Britain’s most amazing sporting victory of all time.

So perhaps we should think about supporting Britain’s cyclists on their foreign travels all year around after their stunning six  wins in this year’s Tour?

Tour tourism

Tammy was delighted that thousands of Brits took her advice and headed to Paris by plane, train or automobile, proving that ‘Tour tourism’ is alive and kicking.

Many Brits partied into the night, waving Union jacks and wearing their stick-on Wiggo trademark sideburns in a mark of reverence to their hero.

Even the French fell in love with Wiggo, naming him ‘Le Gentleman’ after his sporting response to the ‘tack attack’ on an earlier stage of the Tour.

It also helped that Bradley speaks decent French and even conducted an interview during the Tour when he cracked several jokes about meeting the French President (“Wasn’t he some guy off Big Brother,” quipped Wiggo).

Time to think about booking tickets to see the Spanish Vuelta, next year’s Giro in Italy, or even getting out of bed to see one of the none-ticketed sections of the Olympic cycling road race in London next week.

Like football fans perhaps we should decamp to every far-flung European competition to support our guys?

My earliest cycling trips were to watch the Tour Of Britain when we turned up on a wet and wild day to cheer on our cycling guys, many of whom are now in the road race elite.

The atmosphere was great but it wasn’t very glamorous…

Tour of Great Britain

Tour of Great Britain 2007 – happy days in Dumfries!

Now road racing in Britain has entered a new era and finally the British public & press are starting to notice that something special is happening.

There is a new momentum… illustrated by the fact that those who couldn’t travel to Paris today were able to watch the Tour on the main ITV channel (and not just on ITV4 which has been covering the event so brilliantly on its lesser station for weeks).

Tour de force

Tammy believes this Tour de France was the best ever.

She’s watched Lance Armstrong defy the odds to win seven tours; she’s witnessed battles between Schleck and Contador; and she was even there to meet Cav & Wiggo when they were starting to reach the top of their game two years ago.

But this beats them all…

Wiggo in 2010

Meeting Wiggo on 2010’s Tour de France

Sadly for the first time in several years, Tammy couldn’t be at the Tour in person to witness the historic chain of events but she was watching from a TV in a RV.

Almost time to think about booking a trip to France for next year’s Tour then.

In the meantime, the late, great British cycling great Tommy Simpson is raising a glass of brandy to salute the winners from his grave.

And Tammy is toasting our trio of brilliant Brits who finally made the public back home sit up and notice that we have a superb squad worth travelling abroad to support.

Vive Wiggo!

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish – sprinter supreme

And allez Cav – the ‘Manx Missile’ – worthy winner of today’s sprint race on the Champs Elysees.

The Sky’s the limit.  Don’t stop being the world’s finest because we’ve loved every moment.

This is only the beginning of a golden age of British cycling – and we want more.

It’s been emotional…

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