Wiggins Wins Tour of California

Sets sights on Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins rides in the 2012 Tour de France, where he took first place. (Damien/Flickr)
Photo: Damien/Flickr

It was the fourth-closest finish and the most competitive peloton the Amgen Tour of California has ever seen, but British cyclist Bradley Wiggins pulled off first place by 30 seconds. Team Garmin-Sharp took overall team honors with a total time of 85:12:16. 

Riders traveled more than 700 miles in eight days, from Sacramento to Thousand Oaks. Wiggins, who led the race from day two, finished 20th in the eighth and final 76.1-mile stage, with an overall time of 28:22:05. Fellow Brit Mark Cavendish won Stage 8 by a hair, entering the finish line neck-and-neck with German cyclist John Degenkolb. He didn't think he would start that stage at all. "I was chasing the group," he said in an official press release. "I finally got back to them on the descent." 

Another competitor had his moment in the sun as well—but for the wrong reasons. Spanish cyclist Eloy Teruel found himself leading the seventh stage and began celebrating as he approached the finish line. He didn't notice the fans and announcers trying to tell him that he still had one lap left. He crossed the finish line after the actual last lap in 56th place.

As for Wiggins, he'll add this victory to a list that includes the 2012 Tour de France and the 2010 Olympics in London. Next stop: possibly the Tour de France, though it is still unclear if he plans to ride this year. Last year, a knee injury and chest infection kept him from competing in both the Tour and the Giro d'Italia.

After his win in the Tour of California, Wiggins did bring up the Tour de France, saying, "If I am fortunate enough to be in the Tour, it will be in support of Chris [Froome]. Chris wants to win his second Tour, and as the defending champion, everyone understands that, including myself."

More Adventure