July 22, 2012 by Irish Peloton
2012 Tour de France Trivia
- This is the first Tour de France victory for Bradley Wiggins and for Great Britain. The previous best for both was fourth place in 2009 (Robert Millar also finished in fourth place in 1984).
- Along with Roger Walkowiak, Wiggins is now one of only two Tour winners who have never won a road stage in any Tour de France (although of course, Wiggins still has a few years to rectify this).
- It is also the first time since 1968 that the Tour winner has finished outside the top 10 in the mountains classification. Jan Janssen did so in the Tour directly after Tom Simpson died which was raced over a more cautious route with less demanding mountain stages.
- Wiggins is the first Olympic track gold medalist to win the Tour de France. The closest any rider had come to achieving this previously was Guy Lapebie who won the 4km team pursuit in Berlin in 1936 and finished third in the Tour in 1948 behind Gino Bartali and Briek Schotte.
- Having taken the yellow jersey on Stage Seven, Wiggins and Team Sky defended the race lead all the way to Paris for 13 stages. This is the most stages a Tour winner has held the yellow jersey directly before Paris since Bernard Hinault defended successfully for 15 stages in 1985.
- Since trade teams were re-introduced to the Tour de France in 1969, the one-two finish by Wiggins and Chris Froome is the first time that two riders from the same team and same country have finished first and second in the Tour de France. It is the first time since Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich in 1996 for two riders from the same team and it is the first time since Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault in 1984 for two riders from the same country to finish first and second.
- The last two times where two riders from the same team have finished first and second at the Tour (Riis-Ullrich 1996 and Hinualt-LeMond1985), the younger rider who finished in second place behind his team leader went on to win the Tour the following year. (This ‘two times’ ignores the team one-two by LeMond-Hinault in 86, where the following year Hinault retired and LeMond had been shot).
- By finishing on the third step of the podium in Paris, Vincenzo Nibali has now finished on the podium of all three Grand Tours (2nd – Giro 2010, 1st – Vuelta 2010). He is the first Italian to achieve this feat since Felice Gimondi.
- Starting with Andy Schleck’s inherited Tour de France in 2010, Wiggins’s victory makes it seven Grand Tours in a row where the winner has never before won a Grand Tour (Schleck, Nibali, Scarponi, Evans, Cobo, Hesjedal, Wiggins). This has only ever happened once before between the Vueltas of 1965 and 1967 (Wolfshohl, Adorni, Gimondi, Gabica, Aimar, Motta, Janssen).
- Nicolas Roche’s 12th place finish overall goes one better than his father achieved in his final Tour de France in 1993 where he ended the race in 13th place. Roche junior also bettered his own personal best at the Tour which was 14th in 2010. His performance this year is now the highest G.C. place for an Irishman since Stephen Roche’s ninth place in 1992.
- Cavendish is not the first world champion to win the final stage of the Tour de France. The Belgian Marcel Kint did so in 1939. However, because the race didn’t end on the Champs Elysseés until the mid-70s, Cavendish is the first world champion to win the final stage of the Tour on the famous Parisian boulevard.
- In winning his third stage of the Tour, although it’s his lowest tally since he began winning stages in 2008, Cavendish has now won at least three stages in five Tours in a row. This is something which only Bernard Hinault has ever done before (1978-1982).
- Along with Cavendish’s three wins, Wiggins (2), Froome and Millar also earned stage wins which made it a total of seven victories for Great Britain. This total has not been bettered since Laurent Fignon and his Renault team ran riot in 1984 helping France to 11 stage victories. Since 1984, this British performance is just the fifth Tour in which one country has taken seven stage wins (France 1987, Netherlands 1988, Italy 1997 & 1999). Although on none of the other four occasions has that same country also won the yellow jersey.
- Thibaut Pinot is the youngest Tour de France stage winner since a 21 year-old Lance Armstrong won a stage in 1993.
- Peter Sagan is the youngest green jersey winner since Willy Planckaert in 1966 and he is the second youngest winner ever.
- Sagan is the first rider since Olaf Ludwig in 1990 to win the green jersey on his Tour debut. The Slovakian can join a list of eight riders who achieved this feat. ALong with Ludwig, the others are Jean Paul van Poppel, Freddy Maertens, Patrick Sercu, Eddy Merckx, Willy Planckaert, Rudi Altig and Fritz Schaer.
- Sagan won the points classification with a 141 point lead over the second placed finisher Andre Greipel. This is the fifth largest winning margin in Tour history. Both Sean Kelly and Freddy Maertens have had larger winning margins, twice each. The widest winning margin ever was achieved by Kelly over Bernard Hinault in 1982 with a gap of a massive 277 points.
- Finally, Liquigas finished the Tour de France with all nine riders making it to Paris. Staggeringly, this is the 11th Grand Tour in a row in which none of their riders abandoned or were disqualified. At the Vuelta in August they will be aiming to make it four full years since one of their riders abandoned a Grand Tour. To put this into perspective, no other team in the history of the sport have ever managed to finish three Grand Tours in one year with a full team intact each time.