Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wiggins gives stage gift to teammate

BRIVE-LA-GAILLARDE, France — For Bradley Wiggins, it's time to bestow gifts at the Tour de France.

With the title in sight, Wiggins made it a point Friday to acknowledge the work of unsung teammate Mark Cavendish, helping to lead him to a stage victory.

Wiggins, Cavendish and their British Sky team did more than underline their authority in Stage 18. They also put their Olympic rivals on notice: Britain may well be a force in the road race at the London Games, which begin next week.

Wiggins is intent on becoming Britain's first Tour winner, and that is Sky's priority. Cavendish has made plenty of sacrifices, even leading his team leader over the climbs he often dreads.

Once Wiggins got through Thursday's mountain finale with his lead secure, he could cede some limelight to Cavendish as the race began heading toward Paris for Sunday's finish.

Friday's ride along four small hills over 138 miles from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde was a transitional stage before today's time trial. With less than a mile to go, Wiggins took the head of the pack and chased down six breakaway riders, then peeled away.

The Sky train motored ahead, and Cavendish whirred around the remaining escapees in the last few hundred yards to win.

"(Friday) morning we decided to put the train in place and help Mark in the final," said Wiggins, who hugged Cavendish at the finish. "It's my gift to him."

"It would have been easy for the team to just ride into Paris now after the mountains," Cavendish said. "But we spoke on the bus before (Friday's) start, and I stuck my hand up and said, 'Please, give me a chance.' "

Wiggins gives stage gift to teammate 07/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 8:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

    Blogs

    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …

  2. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20

    Blogs

    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  3. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  4. Ex-Florida Gators QB Treon Harris will start at Tennessee State

    Blogs

    Former Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris is a starter again.

    At Tennessee State.

  5. Do Rays, Corey Dickerson have a 'second wind'?

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was the time in late May when Corey Dickerson hit a ball that bounced in front of the plate, swatted it for a double. He hit anything that moved wherever it moved. He was that good.

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Corey Dickerson (10) gets beat to the bag on the throw to first to end the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times