Tour de France stage 18: photo gallery

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Tour de France

Tour de France stage 18: photo gallery

Stage 18 of the 2012 Tour de France will live long in the memory of British fans. 

When the yellow jersey, Bradley Wiggins, hit the front with a kilometre to go, the feeling that something special was about to unfold was palpable.

Just how special that something was to be became apparent half-a-kilometre later, when the world road race champion, Mark Cavendish, launched his sprint from a seemingly impossible distance to pass the last remaining survivors of a breakaway on his way to the line.

To describe the Manxman’s victory as emphatic barely does justice to the speed and audacity with which it was executed.

A dress rehearsal for Sunday and the Champs Élysées? Or for next Saturday and the Mall? Here’s hoping for two carbon copies, six days apart.

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Bradley Wiggins became the ultimate lead out man on stage 18, moving to the front with 1km to go 

 An elated mark Cavendish punches the air in triumph after arguably the greatest of his 22 Tour de France stage victories

Alexandre Vinokourov won the combativity award after an aggressive day in the breakaway 

A presidential handshake for Bradley Wiggins from France’s first citizen, Francois Hollande

The day belonged to Mark Cavendish who delivered a timely reminder of his sprinting brilliance

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