Bradley Wiggins’ victory in the 2012 Paris-Nice is real cause for celebration among fans of British cycling.
The victory is arguably the greatest of Wiggins’ road career, perhaps in its precision surpassing his triumph in last year’s Criterium du Dauphine.
Superb displays of judgment in the second stage, where Wiggins found himself on the right side of a bunch split by cross winds, and in yesterday’s closing time trial, where he overhauled a mid-stage deficit to second-placed Louis Westra, showed the Gent-born Londoner at his clinical best.
This year’s ‘Race to the Sun’ also featured thrilling performances from several other of the WorldTour peloton’s biggest names.
GreenEDGE’s emphatic victory in the opening stage team time trial set the tone for a highly competitive race
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) continued to demonstrate a return to his brilliant best with victory on stage two
Victors from the 2012 Tour Down Under, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) went head-to-head on stage three, with Valve snatching the win
Gianni Meersman went from the third to the top step of the podium in 24 hours with victory on stage four
Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) sprung a surprise on the climb to Mende on stage five to win the stage and move to second on general classification
Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) and Jens Voight (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) broke away on stage six, with the Spaniard outsprinting the German for the win
Thomas De Gendt proved that solo breakaways do sometimes succeed by winning stage seven. Facing the press looks equally challenging
Wiggins produced a magnificently controlled ride in the closing time trial to become only the second British rider to win the ‘Race to the Sun’