Bradley Wiggins wins Paris-Nice after final time trial

Bradley Wiggins became only the second Briton to win the Paris-Nice race after triumphing in Sunday's final stage.

The Team Sky rider went into the final stage, a 9.6km time trial in Col d'Eze, with a six-second lead over his nearest challenger, Dutchman Lieuwe Westra.

Wiggins crossed the line in 19 minutes and 12 seconds, two seconds faster then Westra, to extend his winning margin.

Bradley Wiggins

  • Born 28 April 1980 in Belgium, where Australian father Gary was a road racer
  • Raised in London by his mother
  • On professional road racing circuit since 2001
  • In 2004 became first British athlete for 40 years to win three medals at one Olympics
  • Won Olympic gold for individual pursuit in 2004 and 2008, and for team pursuit in 2008
  • Also won Olympic silver in team pursuit in 2004 and bronze in 2004 madison and 2000 team pursuit
  • 4th place in 2009 Tour de France, equalling best by a British cyclist
  • Crashed out of 2011 Tour de France with broken collarbone
  • 2012 Paris-Nice winner

The only previous British winner of the Paris-Nice was Wiggins's childhood idol Tom Simpson in 1967.

Although Simpson collapsed and died later that year on the slopes of the Mont Ventoux during the Tour de France, Wiggins - who was born in 1980 - has always spoken of how Simpson has inspired him. 

Speaking after the event, Wiggins said: "I know my cycling history and this is an enormous achievement.

"It's an honour to be up there with Tom Simpson."

Alejandro Valverde was third overall, one minute and 10 seconds behind Wiggins.

Wiggins had kept the leader's yellow jersey for seven days in the race, which is popularly known as the race to the sun.

The Olympic track goal medallist found himself two seconds behind Westra halfway through the stage, and rode a frenetic finish to win.

"It was a very tough final time trial and I knew that Westra was very strong," said Wiggins.

"But in terms of pressure it was nothing compared to an Olympic track final.

"You can enjoy the moment. I was confident of my ability and I rode it perfect."

Paris-Nice final standings:

1st: Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) - 28 hours, 12 minutes, 16 seconds.

2nd: Lieuwe Westra (Ned) 8 seconds behind

3rd: Alejandro Valverde (Spa) - 1 min 10 secs

4th: Simon Spilak (Slo) - 1 min 24 secs

5th: Tejay Van Garderen (USA) - 1 min 54 secs