The penultimate day of the 2012 Tour de France finished in the cathedral city of Chartres. Today was the last individual timed race over 53 kilometers. The first 44 riders left at 1-minute intervals, then most of the rest at 2-minute intervals. The final 14 left at 3-minute intervals.
The Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB Team) was in first place, getting back to form. He had crashed in stage one, but had recovered in the last weeks. But then came the power riders. Bradley Wiggins raced hard and came in first, finishing the stage at over 50 kilometers an hour, the only rider to get to such a finishing speed, with Chris Froome a close second.The Australian, Cadel Evans, the defending champion from last year, had a bad race and finished the stage in 52nd place. Tejay van Garderen from the USA (BMC Racing) did well and is now in 5th place.
So barring accidents, Bradley Wiggins will tomorrow be the first Brit to win the Tour de France since it started 99 years ago. The route has been lined by UK supporters and tomorrow Paris will be full of celebrating British.
Image: Bradley Wiggins Supporter © Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Sport