Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky won the penultimate stage time-trial of the 2012 Tour de France in emphatic fashion and is now all but certain to claim the overall classification when the race ends in Paris tomorrow. 

Wiggins punched the air as he flew past the Union Flags flanking the finishing straight after setting a searing pace along the 53.5km course from Bonneval to Chartres.

Barring catastrophe, he will now become the first ever Brit to win the yellow jersey in Paris after the largely ceremonial sprint stage on the Champs Elysées tomorrow.

And, on an historic and remarkable day for British cycling, his team-mate and compatriot Chris Froome consolidated a British one-two with second place in the stage.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) finished a commendable 14th to conserve his third place on the podium while Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) was able to defend his fourth overall from a rapid Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing). 

But the day belonged to Wiggins, Froome and Team Sky, who recorded a fifth stage win of the Tour and a second one-two.

Changing of the guard
An exposed course buffeted by a headwind for most of the day meant there would be no plain sailing in today’s penultimate stage.

Argos-Shimano’s Patrick Gretsch set a surprise early benchmark and went on to finish fifth overall, however it was Spanish champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) who finished strongly to take the lead for the majority of the day. 

A year ago Cadel Evans (BMC) was racing to take over the race lead from Andy Schleck in the 2011 Tour, but his 2012 final time-trial could not have been more different. Starting off in sixth overall, he was caught by his team-mate and white jersey wearer Tejay Van Garderen within 33km and went on to slip to seventh overall.

Roared on by BMC boss John Lelangue’s voice through a megaphone on the team car, Van Garderen secured fifth overall; evidence indeed that the guard at the Swiss team had well and truly been changed. 

Richie Porte (Sky), his work for Wiggins all but complete, showed how much he had been saving during the first time trial with fifth on the stage today. Yet as it was on stage nine nearly two week’s ago, it was Froome and Wiggins who dominated the race against the clock.

Froome’s time 32 seconds quicker than Sanchez was fantastic, but Wiggins was quite simply sublime. He finished over a minute clear of Froome at a speed of bang on 50kmph to take the Tour de France in style.

The final time gaps at the end of the stage, with just two riders within ten minutes of Wiggins, showed that it wasn’t just a victory. It was a domination. 

Results
Tour de France 2012, stage 19: Bonneval – Chartres, 53.5km (ITT)
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 1hr 4-13

2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 1-16
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Rabobank at 1-50
4. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep at 2-02
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky at 2-25
6. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano at 2-28
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 2-34
8. Vasil Kiriyenka (Blr) Movistar at 2-46
9. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 2-50
10. Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 3-05
Others
16. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 3-38
26. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 4-22
41. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 5-31
42. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Radioshack-Nissan at 5-32
48. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 5-38
52. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 5-56
64. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 6-14
69. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp at 6-22
82. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Sky at 6-58
100. Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing at 7-51

Overall classification after stage 19
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky

2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 3-21
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 6-19
4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 10-15
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 11-04
6. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Radioshack-Nissan at 15-43
7. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 15-51
8. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 16-31
9. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana at 16-38
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-BigMat at 17-17
Others
12. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 19-33

Cadel Evans

Luis Leon Sanchez

Chris Froome

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins stretched his overall lead

Related links
Tour de France 2012: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Sky’s quick exit strategy from the Tour

Wiggins and Froome explain Tour stage 17 final climb debate

Liquigas hopes Tour success could help find sponsor

Froome: Nibali’s attacks weren’t going anywhere

Wiggins’ Tour de France training

Voigt tries to carry on as RadioShack’s future seems in doubt

Frank Schleck positive for banned substance at Tour

Rest day review (July 17)

Defending Tour champ Evans has work to do in Pyrenees

Sprinters’ teams unwilling to work on stage 15

Evans suffers multiple punctures after Tour tack attack

Froome not winning this year’s Tour is ‘very great sacrifice’

Frank Schleck criticises ‘boring’ Tour de France

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 start list and withdrawals

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports
Stage 18: Cavendish wins Tour stage 18 with irresistible sprint
Stage 17: Wiggins step closer to Paris as Valverde wins stage
Stage 16: Voeckler the Pyrenean king as he wins in Bagneres de Luchon 
Stage 15: Fedrigo wins, day off for peloton
Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank’s Tour
Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage
Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last
Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back
Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour
Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT
Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks
Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage
Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage
Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades
Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes
Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne
Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory
Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt
Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour’s time trials

CW’s Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation – chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 18 by Graham Watson

Stage 17 by Graham Watson

Stage 16 by Graham Watson

Stage 15 by Graham Watson

Stage 14 by Graham Watson

Stage 13 by Graham Watson

Stage 12 by Graham Watson

Stage 11 by Graham Watson

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage 17 live coverage

Stage 16 live coverage

Stage 12 live coverage

Stage 11 live coverage

Stage 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever