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