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A look at Britain’s recent dominance in the Tour de France

A look at Britain’s recent dominance in the Tour de France

Originally scheduled for June, the 107th edition of the Tour de France got underway at the end August. The riders started the illustrious race in Nice, and over the course of the next three weeks, will make their way towards Champs-Élysées in the capital, Paris. Last year’s winner, and pre-race favourite in the TDF odds, Egan Bernal, has seen his odds widen as he is currently 13 seconds behind the current General Rankings leader Adam Yates.

Whilst British Mitchelton-Scott rider, Adam Yates, currently sits at the top in the general standings, fellow countrymen Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas were dropped from the Team Ineos line-up – surely ending Britain’s recent dominance in the world-famous race.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Brits have dominated the Tour de France in recent years. Read on to find out more!

Sir Bradley Wiggins – 2012

In 2012, Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first ever British rider to win the Tour de France and did so with an impressive margin of three minutes and 21 seconds. There was a debate pre-race as to why Wiggins was Team Sky’s leading racer ahead of Froome, but the London-raised cycler quickly proved the doubters wrong. After claiming the sought-after yellow jersey in the seventh stage, ‘Wiggo’ wore it for the remaining 13 consecutive stages. With Froome claiming second, it was 1-2 for Team Sky, and the first time since 1984 that two riders from the same country landed the top two places.

Chris Froome – 2013

With Wiggins pulling out of the 100th edition of the Tour de France, Froome was promoted to lead Team Sky across the twenty-one stages and 3,405 km terrain. After finishing second to his teammate in 2012, Froome gained the yellow jersey by winning stage eight of the race and, just like ‘Wiggo’, maintained it the whole way to Paris. The London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist also won stage 15 and the individual time trial of stage 17, beating Alberto Contador by nine seconds, en route to his first victory.

Chris Froome – 2015

With Wiggins, again, not taking part in the 2014 race, and Froome pulling out after picking up an injury in stage five, Italian Vincenzo Nibali of Team Astana went on to win his Tour. However, in 2015, Froome was back to reclaim his title! The Brit won the rights of the yellow jersey in stage three, but Tony Martin won the following stage, stealing a piece of glory from Froome. After regaining it from the German, who pulled out due to injury, in stage eight, Froome held onto the jacket for the remainder of the Grande Boucle. The Kenyan-born cyclist’s only other stage victory came in stage 10.

Chris Froome – 2016

In 2016, Froome became the first person since Miguel Induráin, who won the race five times in a row throughout the 1990’s, to win the Tour de France back-to-back. The Brit won the race by four minutes and five seconds, with Romain Bardet and Nairo Quintana finishing second and third, respectively. Froome took the lead on stage eight and extended it after stage 11. However, his hard work was nearly quashed when he crashed at stage 12, when he was involved with a crash involving a motorbike, 1km from the finish. With a back-up bike minutes behind, Froome was forced to run before hopping on a natural bicycle.

Chris Froome – 2017

The Team Sky rider moved up the all-time list of winners after his victory in the 2017 race. In unusual fashion, Froome lost control of the yellow jersey, losing 22 seconds to Fabio Aru on stage 12. However, just two stages later, and the Briton was back in control, reclaiming the jersey from an out-of-steam Aru. Froome failed to win a single stage in 2017, becoming just the seventh rider to win the race without a stage victory, whilst his career total of 59 stages in the yellow jersey, moved him up to fourth in the all-time list.

Geraint Thomas – 2018

After three consecutive wins in the Tour de France, Froome, who was the heavy favourite pre-race, could do no better than a third-place finish in 2018. However, luckily Welshman Geraint Thomas was on hand to ensure the yellow jersey remained in Britain. Thomas, who was a 16/1 outsider heading into the Grande Boucle, won control of the yellow jersey in stage 11, before extending his lead with back-to-back stage victories, and holding onto the jersey for the remainder of the race.

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