Praise pours in for Tour winner Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins’ victory in the Tour de France was acclaimed as one of finest moments in Britain’s sporting history by Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson.
Wiggins today became the first rider from the UK to win cycling’s greatest event with Team Sky teammate Chris Froome finishing in second place.
And another Team Sky member Mark Cavendish clinched the final stage of the race into Paris, sealing victory on the Champs-Elysees for a fourth consecutive year.
“Bradley Wiggins’ triumph goes down as one of the great achievements in British sporting history,” Robertson said.
“It is a superb feat of endurance, skill and sporting excellence and he has been backed by an outstanding team.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, hopes participation numbers in cycling will explode as a result of Wiggins’ success.
“Huge congratulations must go to Bradley Wiggins,” Johnson said.
“His incredible determination, focus and will to win blew away the rest of the field and propelled this legendary Londoner to the summit of his sport.
“His inspirational performances, ably supported by his fellow Team Sky riders including Brits Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish, will encourage thousands more people to take to two wheels.”
Team Sky chairman Robert Tansey believes this success – delivered ahead of schedule – will inspire Team GB at the London Olympics.
“We have a very strong set up and squad,” Tansey said.
“Our team loves riding for each other and they’ll want to come back and do this again next year.
“We view this as the start rather than the end of something and the hunger is definitely there to repeat it.
“When we launched three years ago our ambition was to win the Tour de France with a British rider in five years.
“A lot of people were sceptical of that so to do it in three years is a tremendous achievement.
“This is a great British story and less than a week away from the Olympics this will inevitably give the Team GB cycling squad a lift.”
British Cycling president Brian Cookson described the outcome to the 99th edition of the Tour de France as a “monumental day” for the sport in Britain.
“To see a British rider and a fellow member of British Cycling win is a dream come true for me and all at British Cycling,” Cookson said.
“This is a monumental day for sport in the UK.”© AP 2013