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2012 Tour de France Stage 20: The Final Day
 
By Luke Allingham
Date: 7/22/2012
2012 Tour de France Stage 20: The Final Day
 
After three weeks of racing in the world's largest bicycle race, the Tour de France saw its first ever rider from Great Britain win the yellow jersey. As if a first ever British winner was not enough, two British riders placed within the top two overall with an Italian taking the final steps on the podium. As the peloton finished its 99th edition of racing, world champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky), who has won every year on the Champs-Élysées since 2009, once again proved his dominance in the sprints as he was the first rider to cross the final stage of the 99th Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées.

The peloton remained relaxed as they traveled from the stage 20 starting town of Rambouillet to Paris. Bradley Wiggins and other Sky Pro Cycling riders enjoy the finishing stage as they made their way through the 160-man strong peloton. The race remained at a slow pace until the peloton made their way onto the Champs-Élysées for the first time in 2012. American George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team), who is in his 17th and final career Tour de France, led the peloton onto the Champs-Élysées just ahead of the peloton with fellow countryman, Chris Horner of RadioShack-Nissan.

Directly after the peloton made their first turn onto the Champs-Élysées, attacks came from left and right out of the peloton as nearly every rider made their attempt to create the final breakaway at the 99th Tour and have perhaps a shot at stage glory.

After many attacks from riders within the peloton and many breakaway reeled back into the main field, an eleven-man strong breakaway finally escaped the peloton. The group built a maximum advantage of just thirty seconds. The group eventually splintered into a group of three inside in the final 15 kilometers, although the three men at the head of the race gave it everything they had left in the tanks, the trio was captured with 1.5 kilometer remaining in the stage

Immediately after the trio was caught, race leader Bradley Wiggins and Norweian road champion Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) were seen at the head of the peloton in an attempt to lead out their sprinter and world champion, Mark Cavendish. With under 1 kilometer to go, Wiggins turned the pace setting over to Boasson Hagen. The Norwegian led Cavendish into the final turn before pulling off and although he had to sprint from a far way out, Cavendish took his fourth win on the Champs-Élysées and topped off the fabulous weekend from Team Sky.

In the jersey classifications: Slovakia's 22 year old sprint start Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), who is in his first career Tour de France, dominated the points classification for the best sprinter in the race, finishing with a demanding 141 point lead over German sprint star André Greipel. Frechman Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar), who finished 4th overall at the 2011 Tour de France, claimed his first ever polka dot jersey for the best climber in the race. He finish in Paris with a 12 point lead in the polka dot jersey classification ahead of Astana Pro Team's Fredrik Kessiakoff. American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), in his second career Tour de France, captured his first white jersey for the best young rider under the age of 26. The 23 year old from Boulder, Colorado finished in Paris with a 6:13 lead in the classification ahead of the youngest rider in the race, Thibaut Pinot. Last but certainly not least, Brit Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling) won his first yellow jersey for the best rider overall at the 2012 Tour de France, claiming victory ahead of fellow teammate and countryman, Christopher Froome, by time gap of 3:21.

Luxembourg-based RadioShack-Nissan-Trek claimed the Team Classification at the 2012 Tour de France, despite not finishing in Paris with their two team leaders, Frank and Andy Schleck. RadioShack-Nissan finished in Pairs with over a five minute time gap on British-based Sky Pro Cycling. Dane Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) was given the Super-combative award at this year's Tour.

Stage 20 Results
1. GBR CAVENDISH Mark SKY PROCYCLING 03h 08' 07''
2. SVK SAGAN Peter LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
3. AUS GOSS Matthew Harley ORICA GREENEDGE 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
4. ARG HAEDO Juan Jose TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
5. BEL BOECKMANS Kris VACANSOLEIL-DCM 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
6. NZL HENDERSON Gregory LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
7. SLO BOZIC Borut ASTANA PRO TEAM 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
8. GER GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
9. NOR BOASSON HAGEN Edvald SKY PROCYCLING 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
10. FRA ENGOULVENT Jimmy SAUR-SOJASUN 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
11. USA FARRAR Tyler GARMIN-SHARP 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
12. NED DE KORT Koen TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
13. ITA PAOLINI Luca KATUSHA TEAM 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
14. FRA GENE Yohann TEAM EUROPCAR 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
15. FRA HINAULT Sébastien AG2R LA MONDIALE 03h 08' 07'' + 00' 00''
16. ESP PEREZ MORENO Ruben EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
17. SLO BRAJKOVIC Janez ASTANA PRO TEAM 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
18. ITA MARCATO Marco VACANSOLEIL-DCM 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
19. KAZ KASHECHKIN Andrey ASTANA PRO TEAM 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
20. FRA DUMOULIN Samuel COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
21. BLR KIRYIENKA Vasili MOVISTAR TEAM 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
22. BEL GILBERT Philippe BMC RACING TEAM 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
23. FRA ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
24. AUS CANTWELL Jonathan TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
25. KAZ IGLINSKIY Maxim ASTANA PRO TEAM 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
26. FRA SIMON Julien SAUR-SOJASUN 03h 08' 11'' + 00' 04''
27. AUS EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM 03h 08' 14'' + 00' 07''
28. ESP ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 03h 08' 14'' + 00' 07''
29. GER SIEBERG Marcel LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 03h 08' 14'' + 00' 07''
30. SUI SCHÄR Michael BMC RACING TEAM 03h 08' 14'' + 00' 07''

General Classification After Stage 20
1. GBR WIGGINS Bradley SKY PROCYCLING 87h 34' 47''
2. GBR FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 87h 38' 08'' + 03' 21''
3. ITA NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 87h 41' 06'' + 06' 19''
4. BELVAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 87h 45' 02'' + 10' 15''
5. USA VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM 87h 45' 51'' + 11' 04''
6. ESP ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 87h 50' 28'' + 15' 41''
7. AUS EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM 87h 50' 36'' + 15' 49''
8. FRA ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 87h 51' 13'' + 16' 26''
9. SLO BRAJKOVIC Janez ASTANA PRO TEAM 87h 51' 20'' + 16' 33''
10. FRA PINOT Thibaut FDJ-BIGMAT 87h 52' 04'' + 17' 17''
11. GER KLÖDEN Andréas RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 87h 52' 41'' + 17' 54''
12. IRL ROCHE Nicolas AG2R LA MONDIALE 87h 54' 20'' + 19' 33''
13. USA HORNER Christopher RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 87h 54' 42'' + 19' 55''
14. DEN SORENSEN Chris Anker TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK 88h 00' 14'' + 25' 27''
15. RUS MENCHOV Denis KATUSHA TEAM 88h 02' 09'' + 27' 22''


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