Sky-high finish at the Tour de France

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The sight of yellow jersey wearer Bradley Wiggins helping set up the lead-out train for Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France finale indicates the teamwork that made Sky Procycling such a success this year.

Mark Cavendish

Sky’s sprinter Cavendish rode away from the peloton for the stage win on the Champs Elysees on Sunday, marking his 4th career victory in Paris and his 23rd career victory in the Tour.

Asked after the race about the victory, a joyous Cavendish clicked of the team’s half-dozen stage victories at the race and said, “The win today put the cherry on top.”

Sky Procycling leader Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win at the Tour. He beat teammate Chris Froome by 3:21. The only non-Sky cyclist on the podium this year — Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas — finished 6:19 behind in 3rd place.

Those top podium finishes and stage wins are an amazing accomplishment for Sky, a British-licensed team formed in 2010.

Bradley Wiggins

Their Tour winner, Wiggins, started his cycling career as an accomplished track star, where he won gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics as well as numerous world championships. He switched over to road cycling after the 2008 Olympics.

Joining Garmin-Slipstream in 2009, he finished 4th overall at the Tour de France that year. The following year, his first with Sky, he finished 24th and withdrew during the race last year.

Now, he’s the cyclist to beat.

Among cyclist’s from the US, BMC Racing’s Tejay Van Garderen had the highest finish in 5th place, 11:04 behind the winner. He got his own podium appearance as winner of the best young rider’s white jersey.

Also achieving a measure of success at this year’s Tour was George Hincapie, who finished his 16th and final Tour de France this year. Hincapie led the peloton for a while after it reached Paris, and he was joined by Chris Horner. [Later, Jon Voigt joined a breakaway that gained 20-some seconds on the peloton before it was finally caught.]

Where other US cyclists finished:

5. Tejay Van Garderen — BMC; 11:04

13. Chris Horner — RadioShack; 19:55

32. Levi Leipheimer — Omega-Pharma; 1:16:29

38. George Hincapie — BMC; 1:30:38

60. Christian Vande Velde — Garmin; 1:58:38

100. David Zabriskie — Garmin; 2:53:26

151. Tyler Farrar — Garmin; 3:54:45

Tom Danielson — Garmin; withdrew in Stage 6

Top 10 overall

1. GBR  WIGGINS Bradley 101 SKY PROCYCLING 87h 34′ 47”
2. GBR  FROOME Christopher 105 SKY PROCYCLING 87h 38′ 08” + 03′ 21”
3. ITA  NIBALI Vincenzo 51 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 87h 41′ 06” + 06′ 19”
4. BEL  VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen 111 LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM 87h 45′ 02” + 10′ 15”
5. USA  VAN GARDEREN Tejay 9 BMC RACING TEAM 87h 45′ 51” + 11′ 04”
6. ESP  ZUBELDIA Haimar 19 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN 87h 50′ 28” + 15′ 41”
7. AUS  EVANS Cadel 1 BMC RACING TEAM 87h 50′ 36” + 15′ 49”
8. FRA  ROLLAND Pierre 29 TEAM EUROPCAR 87h 51′ 13” + 16′ 26”
9. SLO  BRAJKOVIC Janez 181 ASTANA PRO TEAM 87h 51′ 20” + 16′ 33”
10. FRA  PINOT Thibaut 146 FDJ-BIGMAT 87h 52′ 04” + 17′ 17”


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