Tuesday, January 18, 2022
HomeDiariesLe Tour de France 2012 - Stage 19: Bonneval - Chartres (ITT),...

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 19: Bonneval – Chartres (ITT), 52 km.


It’s Sunday morning and I’ve just about come out of the mild shock I was suffering from last evening, after watching Bradley Wiggins’ stunning time trial into Chartres.

When he crossed the line, it finally sank in that an English rider was going to win le Tour.

Up until that moment, it had all seemed like a dream, but as Bradley punched the air, I looked around the wee bar we were in and realised; ‘he’s done it, he’s actually done it!

We watched Bradley win the TT from the bar next to the start, which happily had a big screen across the road.
Brad launches out the start gate.
Brad starts his historic TT victory.
Before watching Brad and the other top guys start, we followed Michael Morkov during his TT. Here, Michael gets some final words from his boss, Bjarne Riis.
Michael was sitting at 25-30mph most of the way.

My mind went back to the Tours of my youth, the joy at Barry Hoban’s wins, the pride at Robert Millar’s wins – on Friday, L’Équipe ran a double page spread on; ‘Les Sujets de sa Majestie‘ – ‘The Subjects of Her Majesty.’

That had me thinking about how I’d never even dared to dream about a GB rider winning this Holy Grail of bicycle races.

Our place was to win stages and remind everyone that Robert Millar is the only English speaker ever to win the King of the Mountains.

Brian Robinson was the first Briton to get on the podium in a classic.

Brian Robinson was the first man to win a stage, in 1958, with another coming his way the following year.

Robinson was a cool rider; he won the Dauphine and was the first rider from outside the big cycling nations to stand on the podium of a classic – third spot in the 1957 Milan-Sanremo.

The legend that is Tom Simpson was the first Briton to wear the yellow jersey, that was 1962, and it’s fitting that on the 50th anniversary of his demise on the Ventoux, ‘les coureurs Britannique‘ should be making such a mark on the race.

My memory enters the picture with Michael Wright and Barry Hoban.

Wright had British nationality but struggled with his native tongue and was more comfortable speaking Flemish – having grown up in Belgium.

On his day, he was rapid and won