Tour de France final stage as it happened

Live text commentary as Bradley Wiggins becomes the first British winner of the race after Mark Cavendish wins for the fourth time in Paris.

22 July 2012 Last updated at 17:23

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As it happened

  1. 1722: 

    And that feels like a good place to end. Chapeau Bradley, Chapeau Cav, Chapeau Froomey and Chapeau Team Sky. Thanks for all your texts, tweets and general company over the last three weeks. Whether you've been with me all the way, or just popped in from time to time, you have been a tremendous support and I think you'll agree it's been a momentous journey. Next up is the Olympics. Will Britain continue to dominate road cycling? Be sure to come back and find out.

  2. 1716: 

    The report on today's stage is live and if you fancy a bit more reading, try out the 10 reasons why Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, article.

  3. 1714: 

    Dom in Watford, via text on 81111: "Watching the tour in the local. Beer in hand, tear in the eye, Oasis on the jukebox!"

    Andrew in Carlisle, via text on 81111: "Wiggins top of podium on the Champs Elysees while Lesley Garrett belts out God Save Our Queen. Brilliant! Lord Wellington would be proud."

  4. 1713: 

    So, Chris Froome is off to ride the Vuelta a Espana after the Olympics. That race starts on 18 August and finishes on 9 September in Madrid. Will he top his second-place from last year? First up though is the Olympics. Froome and Wiggins will join forces with David Millar and Ian Stannard and try to deliver Mark Cavendish to gold in the road race next Saturday. Froome and Wiggo then go for gold in the individual time trial four days later.

  5. 1709: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan on Twitter: "Bradley Wiggins will try to cap a stunning summer in the Olympic time trial on Wed 1 Aug. Gold, to go with yellow?"

  6. 1705: 

    When asked if he may need to change teams to have a chance of winning the Tour de France, Froome added: "I might not need to change the team for that. I would love to win the Tour one day - I've learned so much this year being right at the front of the race but not having the pressure of being the leader. I'm going to take that experience away and hopefully learn for the future."

  7. 1703: 

    A bit more from Froome on the immediate future: "I'm going to go on from here to the Olympics [to compete in the road race and the time trial] and the Vuelta a Espana [where he finished second in 2011] and see how the legs are there. I'd love to come back to the Tour one day and keep this whole thing with Sky going. Whoever it is carrying the yellow and the burden we know the team is going to be there."

  8. 1702: 

    Let's not forget that we are celebrating a British one-two. Step forward Chris Froome: "This is wow, just getting on Champs Elysees and hearing that first eruption from the crowd just sent chills through me. It has not sunk in what we have achieved. Winning today with Cav has been the cherry on the cake after three amazing weeks.

  9. 1658: 

    Ollie Holden on Twitter: "Bradley Wiggins - Best victory speech ever?"

    Andy Patten on Twitter: "Tour de France? Tour de force by the Brits. Stunning."

  10. 1657: 

    Here's more from Brad: "I just want to say thank you to everyone for the support all the way around. It has been a magical couple of weeks for the team and British Cycling. Sometimes dreams come true and to my mother over there, her son has now won the Tour de France. Have a safe journey home and don't get too drunk tonight."

  11. 1654: 

    Brilliant. Lesley Garrett, in a long-flowing Union Jack skirt is belting out God Save the Queen right next to Wiggo on the podium. She really is giving it her all and wafting her skirt with her left hand. Here's Wiggo on the top step. "We're going to start drawing the raffle numbers now," he quips. Genius.

  12. 1651:  
    Yellow Jersey

    Bradley Wiggins steps up and immediately bows to the thousands of British fans, enthusiastically waving their flags on the Champs Elysees, before being helped into his ceremonial yellow jersey. Tremendous scenes.

  13. 1649: 

    The jerseys are being handed out on the Champs Elysees. Peter Sagan gets the green, although he doesn't look overly chuffed - finishing second to Cavendish on that sprint is hurting. Huge cheers as France's Thomas Voeckler is presented with the polka dot jersey and the white jersey for best young rider goes to Tejay van Garderen. And here comes the boy from Kilburn...

  14. 1646: 

    A bit more from Cav? Go on then, you deserve it: "It couldn't be more perfect, it has been an amazing Tour for us. It is incredible, Team Sky said the aim was to win the yellow jersey and we've done it with a one-two. We've got one more job to do next week [the Olympic road race] and it's going to be an amazing few weeks for us."

  15. 1644: 

    Cavendish gets up on the top step of the podium to accept his prize. Here's a few words from the great man: "It is incredible. Bradley Wiggins, the yellow jersey leading me out and said wait until the last km and go for it and I did. I went a bit earlier than I wanted to but I had the acceleration coming out of the corner and I just thought if I can put enough space between me and the chasers and they try to hold on."

  16. 1641:  

    How good does that look? Bradley Wiggins - the first British Tour de France winner. In case you were wondering, Wiggo finished in 54th place, safely in the bunch, nine seconds behind Cavendish and alongside team-mate Chris Froome who consolidated his second place overall.

  17. 1638:  
    Yellow Jersey

    Overall standings:

    1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky 87h 34' 47''

    2. Christopher Froome (GB) Team Sky @ 3'21"

    3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas @ 6'19"

    4. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol @ 10'15"

    5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC @ 11'04"

  18. 1637: 

    Top five on final stage:

    1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Team Sky 3:08:07"

    2. Peter Sagan (Svk) @ same time

    3. Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge

    4. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank

    5. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil

  19. 1634: 

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan on Twitter: "Classic Cav. The perfect way to end the perfect Tour. Chapeau Bradley Wiggins. Chapeau Mark Cavendish. Chapeau Team Sky."

    Tom McMinigal on Twitter: "Wiggins in yellow leading out Mark Cavendish in the rainbow stripes for 4 in a row. Unbelievable scenes. Rule Britannia!"

    Kurt Sullivan on Twitter: "And that, the rest of the word, is how to ride a bike..."

  20. 1633: 

    That stage victory is also Cavendish's 23rd on the Tour de France and lifts him to fourth on the overall list behind French duo Andre Leducq (25 wins) and five-time winner Sebastien Hinault (28 wins). Top of the pile is, of course, Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, who has won 34 stages.

  21. 1628: 
    Graham Jones, Radio 5 live sports extra co-commentator

    On Cav's finish: "Phenomenal sprint by Cavendish to hold out for that long. People might be right when they say he is possibly the greatest road sprinter of all time."

  22. 1627: 

    Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Radio's Test Match Special: "There are 25,000 people here at The Oval clapping - for a cyclist."

  23. 1626: 

    I don't mind admitting I'm welling up a bit here. That was truly phenomenal. Cavendish's lead-out left him with a little longer than normal to sprint out to victory. But there was no way that Goss was going to catch him. That a staggering fourth successive win for the world champion on the Champs Elysees.

  24. 1624:  
    Yellow Jersey


  25. 1624: 


  26. 1623: 

    Wiggo moves over and lets Boasson Hagen into the lead and they fly round the right hander into the Champs Elysees and Cavendish is going on a long sprint here. Here's got Goss on his wheel. Can he do it?

  27. 1623: 

    Here we go down the Rue de Rivoli and here comes Wiggins. The yellow jersey is leading the peloton as they go under the Flamme Rouge. Chapeau Wiggo. Can he lead out Cavendish to a famous win?

  28. 1622: 

    The leaders have been brought back and Michael Rogers takes up the front of the peloton. Bradley Wiggins tucked in behind, with Edvald Boasson Hagen ahead of Cavendish. Then Saxo Bank storm to the front. We are inside the final 2km.

  29. 1620: 

    Inside the last 5km and the leading trio are blowing hard as they go round the hairpin in front of the Arc de Triomphe for the last time. Team Sky back on the front of the peloton, Bradley Wiggins third back in the train. He will do his utmost to help Cav today. The dangers of the race very evident as Lampre rider comes crashing down in the bunch. Stay safe Wiggo.

  30. 1619: 

    Duncan Hill on Twitter: "trying to follow TdF action from LA. Somehow following the text commentary on BBC website makes it even more exciting!"

    Joe P on Twitter: "Just bought the wifi on my flight to Dubai to watch the live text commentary. Don't let me down Cav/Wiggo"

  31. 1618: 

    The trio out front are nervously looking over their shoulders as they come off the Rue de Rivoli, across the Place de la Concorde and on to the Champs Elysees. The bell to signify the last lap is rung and immediately Lotto Belisol move their train towards the front and Saxo Bank take up the pace. The leaders hold the slenderest of advantages, down to 10 seconds.

  32. 1614: 

    Portugal's Rui Alberto Costa of the Movistar team and France's Sebastien Minard of the AG2R team are in the breakaway with Voigt. Their lead holding at 20 seconds as Liquigas and Team Sky continue to lead the chasing peloton into the final 8km.

  33. 1612: 

    Liquigas have infiltrated the Team Sky train. They are looking to set up their sprinter Peter Sagan for the win. Just three riders remain up the road. German veteran Voigt continuing to enjoy his moment in the spotlight. The peloton is keeping the pace high now to prevent any further escape attempts. Inside the final 10km.

  34. 1610: 
    Graham Jones, Radio 5 live sports extra co-commentator

    On a piece of potential history: "If [world road race champion] Cavendish was to win, then it would be the first time the Rainbow jersey has won the Champs Elysees stage."

  35. 1607: 

    We are inside the last 15km of the 2012 Tour de France. Hang on to your hats folks this is going to be a belter of a sprint. Those out front are trying to maintain their advantage but they aren't really working together and the Team Sky-led peloton is reeling them in - the lead down to just 15 seconds.

  36. 1604: 

    The leaders go over the line for a sixth time, twice more and then it's one lap to the finish. The peloton is 25 seconds adrift as they head up towards the Arc de Triomphe where the riders will swing round a hairpin and back down the other side of the Champs Elysees.

  37. 1602: 

    Craig in Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "This has been the best Tour since I watched Robert Millar win King of the Mountains. Wiggo you're now a sporting legend."

    Barry in Brighton, via text on 81111: "Wish I was there today, made it in '84 to see Rob Millar bring home the polka dot jersey and Sean Yates stopped for a chat after a time trial. But this tops anything else."

    Kevin in Devizes, via text on 81111: "A time I feel truly proud to be British. A real achievement for cycling in the UK!"

  38. 1601: 

    Australia's Matt Goss will also be up for the final sprint. The Australian, who rode alongside Mark Cavendish in the HTC team last year, is yet to win a Tour de France stage but has come mighty close. Here's Jean d'Arc again. I'm surprised they're not getting dizzy.

  39. 1557:  
    Green Jersey

    The leading 11 are 27 seconds clear of the peloton but there is no panic from the Team Sky boys yet. Sprinter Peter Sagan, who is wearing the green points jersey, is tracking Cavendish - expect an almighty scrap between those two and Andre Greipel in a little over 20km. Sagan and Greipel both have three stage wins this year, Cav two. Will he match them?

  40. 1554: 

    A few words from Mark Cavendish, speaking at the start of today's stage: "It's a special day for us. We have the yellow jersey and are one-two in the general classification. We just want to put the cherry on top." Will he do it? Tweet #bbccycling or text 81111.

  41. 1552: 

    If you thought Chris Froome would be having a relatively easy day given his exertions in helping Bradley Wiggins through the mountains, then think again. The Kenyan-born Brit is leading the Team Sky train on the front of the peloton. Wiggo is riding just in front of Mark Cavendish. He knows his big moment is coming.

  42. 1550: 
    Graham Jones, Radio 5 live sports extra co-commentator

    On next year's 100th Tour: "No matter what the organisers are going to throw at them I think Sky could have a two-pronged attack next year and if the route is a particularly mountainous one then we could see Froome start as favourite next year."

  43. 1549: 

    There is a group of 11 riders in the leading bunch and may of them are riding in the gutter, trying to keep off the cobbles but that is one enormously high kerb waiting to take you out if you stray a couple of inches off line.

  44. 1548: 

    It's sunny in Paris by the way which is great news for the sprinters. Nothing worse than trying to race at speed on a wet road, particularly one with cobbles on like the Champs Elysees. Voigt's counter-attack has been reeled in but there is now a group of around six riders on the front with six chasing. Sky content to let them move a couple of hundred metres clear. 30km, or five laps remaining.

  45. 1545: 

    Mark in Ilkley, via text on 81111: "TdF highlight: Wiggo's quote 'they all go uphill - they've all got tarmac on them'"

    Ben from Bristol, via text on 81111: "Tour highlight: taking my 6-year-old Freddie and 3-year-old Jacob to watch the race go past us live last Sunday. Wiggo et al at the front of a slow-moving bunch and a toot for the Union jacket flag from Sean Yates in the Sky car. Been watching Le Tour for over 25 years. So happy to see a British 1-2."

  46. 1544: 

    Denmark's Lars Bak joins Voigt and Hondo in the leading group. Bak is a team-mate of Andre Greipel, a man who has won three stages on this year's Tour. Could this be some sort of ploy by the Lotto Belisol team to try and upset Team Sky's rhythm? Voigt is having none of this though and he is counter-attacking.

  47. 1540: 
    Graham Jones, Radio 5 live sports extra co-commentatorBBC COVERAGE

    On the Champs Elysees: "There's no better place to be other than the mountains, it really is the Mecca of cycling. I can assure you once they're on the circuit it really is full-on racing. This is probably the biggest crowd I've ever seen out on the Champs Elysees."

  48. 1539: 

    The Norwegian fans have congregated in sizeable numbers by Jean d'Arc. Not a patch on the vast swathes British fans lining the Champs Elysees. Six laps remaining and Voigt and Hondo continue to lead, but their advantage is no more than 10 seconds at best.

  49. 1536: 

    The breakaway is limited to two riders, but what a pair we have out front. German duo Jens Voigt and Danilo Hondo lead the way. Voigt, who rides for RadioShack, is the oldest man in the race at the age of 40. He has been involved in several breaks throughout the Tour and is famed for in the past shouting at his legs to "shut up" as he rides through the pain barrier.

  50. 1533: 

    BBC Radio 5 Live's Graham Jones with a picture on Twitter: "First passage"

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan on Twitter: "When he finishes, Bradley Wiggins will have ridden 2,064km (1,282 miles) of the 3,497km (2,172m) in the leader's yellow jersey"

  51. 1532: 

    This breakaway attempt is not sticking yet. We have 10 riders hanging off the front of the peloton as they sweep past the statue of Jean d'Arc and back on to the Rue de Rivoli. Team Sky looking composed as they go over the finish line, seven laps to go.

  52. 1528:  
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter

    On Twitter: "Caught a few words with Cav at the start, said he's delighted to be part of effort to take cycling mainstream in UK"

  53. 1527: 

    There are just 48km remaining in the 2012 Tour de France and several riders are trying to break away as they race towards the Arc de Triomphe. Team Sky not budging from the front of the peloton. Their main focus is keeping Bradley Wiggins safe. He still has to cross the finish line remember. Crowds are a dozen deep in places, the noise deafening.

  54. 1524: 

    The Team Sky train, with Wiggins sixth in line behind Cavendish, leading the peloton through the streets of Paris as they head on to the Rue de Rivoli and down towards for the Champs Elysees for the first time. Eight laps of 6km each coming up and the pace will soon kick off. British flags galore and a nice touch from Team Sky, allowing George Hincapie to lead the way. It is the American's 17th and final Tour and that's a record.

  55. 1518: 

    Cathy in Northampton, via text on 81111: "One of many TdF 2012 highlights for me would have to be Big Wig cranking up the pace for Boasson-Hagen. He was flying! Sadly Edvald couldn't take that stage - hope Cav can today! Vive le Tour!"

    Chris in Leicester, via text on 81111: "Seeing Froome annihilate Sanchez's time in the final time trial, closely followed by Wiggins annihilating Froome's time! Allez GB!"

  56. 1516: 

    Bradley, put those hands back on your handlebars please. The Eiffel Tower is in sight as the riders cycle parallel to the River Seine. Thousands on the bridges and a couple of St Geroge's flags wafting in the light breeze. Commentary is live

  57. 1514: 

    BBC Sport's Matt Slater on Twitter: "I'm currently in a traffic jam on the course. Cops seem calm. Huuuuuge Brit presence in French capital. Union flags everywhere. The shopkeepers have taken Paris."

    Team Sky's Geraint Thomas on Twitter: "Has the yellow jersey ever lead out his world champion on the Champs Elysees? Doubt it."

  58. 1512: 

    Pat McQuaid, president of cycling's governing body the UCI, is predicting there will be one million people on the roadside for next Saturday's Olympic road race. Are you planning on being there? If so, best get up early to bag the best spot.

  59. 1508: 

    Live radio commentary will begin at 1515 BST. Simon Brotherton and Graham Jones will be providing the words and you can listen in on this very website.

  60. 1505: 

    The River Seine comes into view as the riders all gather behind Wiggins and Team Sky. Thomas Voeckler contiuing to ride at the back of the peloton, lapping up the adulation from his French supporters. A dozen or so kilometres remaining until the pace heats up a little.

  61. 1458: 

    Dave in Doncaster, via text on 81111: "TdF highlight definitely the 'where have you come from?' look on Luis-Leon Sanchez's face as Cav flew past metres from line on stage 18."

    Tim Friend, via text on 81111: "Wiggins telling the break to slow for puncture-stricken Evans. And the bunch obeying. Who's the patron now?"

  62. 1455:  
    Polkadot Jersey

    Just under 70km remaining and a bit of a hill as the peloton snakes through a town on the outskirts of Paris. A quick left and right and there's Voeckler bringing up the rear of the peloton, gurning face, loving every minute of this ride. His white bike is covered in red spots to match his jersey. His helmet, shoes and socks are similarly coordinated. Up front and Team Sky are beginning to get organised for the ride into Paris.

  63. 1450: 

    BBC Sport's Richard Conway on Twitter: "Favourite Tour moment? Wiggins waiting for rivals to rejoin peloton after punctures in stage 15. A rare moment of Corinthian spirit in sport."

    N. J. Jackson on Twitter: "Wiggins riding up to the back of an attacking Nibali on the way up the Peyrasoude in S16. The point we knew it was his."

    Nick Rose on Twitter: "It has to be the Froome sprint to win, or the Cav sprint on 18... but nothing beats the Wiggo punch crossing the line in the ITT"

  64. 1448: 

    We are nearing Paris if the television pictures are anything to go by. The Palace of Versailles is filling my screen. I remember being taken there as a child and hating every minute of being dragged round the gardens (sorry Ma and Pa if you're reading this afternoon!) If it's any consolation it looks a little more appealing now I'm a few years older.

  65. 1445: 

    Obviously we have a British one-two to celebrate all afternoon, but what of the three other riders from these shores in the race? Steve Cummings of the BMC Racing team is 94th, with David Millar 104th and Mark Cavendish 143rd. Just getting to Paris is a huge achievement in itself so chapeau gentlemen.

  66. 1438:  
    Team Sky

    And on the three British riders in the team:

    "Mark Cavendish: Two stage wins, hopefully a third today - Cav has put the team ahead of his overall aspirations. A true world champion!"

    "Chris Froome: Epic performances in the mountains and a great team-mate. Surely a future Grand Tour winner. A superb second well done Froomey."

    "Bradley Wiggins: "What more can we say? This is an historic day for British cycling. A towering performance from the team leader. #AllezWiggo"

  67. 1436:  
    Team Sky

    Team Sky are tweeting a lap of honour for each of their riders:

    "Christian Knees: The German has ridden like a machine all race. Keeping Brad out of the wind, smashing the peloton on the climbs. Stunning!"

    "Michael Rogers: Bouncing back after a tough 2011, Mick has been in amazing form and worked so hard in the mountains. Priceless experience!"

    "Richie Porte: A fellow Aussie, Richie has dished out some punishment on the climbs, setting an amazing pace to help tee up the team leaders."

    "Bernhard Eisel: A new addition to this core of riders, Bernie slotted straight in. His experience, class & sense of humour has been perfect."

    "Edvald Boasson Hagen: Eddy the Boss has done Norway and the team proud. Whatever the terrain, he has ridden hard. We are lucky to have him!"

    "Kanstantsin Siutsou: An amazing, loyal team-mate, we have missed Kosta since his early crash on stage 3. He will be back. Heal up Kosta!"

  68. 1431: 

    Still processional out on the road as they complete one-third of today's distance. 80km to the finish line in Paris. A quick reminder of how it will all pan out in the French capital. Tradition dictates that the team of the winner leads the peloton into Paris and then the real racing begins. There will be eight laps of 6km around the streets of Paris with a bunch sprint finish expected.

  69. 1422: 

    Matt Goff on Twitter: "Best Tour Memory: Wiggy and Sky pounding the opposition. Remorseless. Relentless."

    Callan Rowland on Twitter: "Cavendish winning stage 18, he was like a rocket, I was shouting at the TV, and Wiggins did his fair share in that!"

    Jon Thorn on Twitter: "Best moment of this year's Tour is Team Sky sheer dominance, that and Seeing Cav leading the peloton up the Pyrennes. Go Wiggo."

    Not forgetting the notorious Tweeter Sagan on Twitter: "Many fan ask for Sagan highlight of Tour. It's all been great. Girls, you've all been great..."

  70. 1417: 

    My home county Yorkshire is bidding to host the first two stages of the 2016 Tour de France and more than 150,000 like-minded folk are supporting the bid. Among them is fellow Yorkshireman Brian Robinson. The 81-year-old was the first British cyclist to win a stage of the Tour in 1958 and he is in Paris today to give the bid a bit of oompf. Yorkshire is competing against Barcelona, Venice, Berlin and Scotland. No contest then!

  71. 1410: 

    A total of 153 riders are set to complete this year's race and a big chapeau to every single last one of them. For every winner though there has to be a loser and the man with the honour of being the 2012 Lanterne Rouge is France's Jimmy Engoulvent. The Saur Sojasun rider has taken three hours, 57 minutes, 45 seconds longer than Bradley Wiggins to ride the 3,377km completed so far.

  72. 1404: 

    You can listen to live commentary of the final hour or so of today's stage on this very website. Simon Brotherton and Graham Jones are somewhere near the finish line in Paris and will be live from 1515 BST. As always, I'll give you a nudge and a link 10 minutes before they are due on air.

  73. 1359: 

    What are your finest memories of this year's Tour? Wiggo blowing everyone else away in the time trials? Cavendish sprinting to victory on stage 18? David Millar's breakaway win? The yelling of Marc Madiot as he encouraged Thibaut Pinot, the youngest rider in the race, to a win on stage eight? Text 81111 or tweet #bbccycling

  74. 1354: 

    Duncan from Dulwich,via text on 81111: "My French father-in-law was distraught at having to welcome an Englishman into the family. Guess that's how the whole of France is feeling today - allez Wiggo!"

    Jack in London, via text on 81111: "In the next 10 days, Wiggins will secure the TdF, hopefully lead out Cav today and in the Olympics, and go for individual gold in the Olympic TT. Summer to remember!"

  75. 1353: 

    Somebody in the race car must have had a word with the riders, who are still gossiping like washerwomen, and told them to get a wriggle on because the pace is being upped. It's nowhere near normal race speed yet but they have gone through the first 20km.

  76. 1349: 

    Tim Franks, BBC sports news correspondent:

    On Twitter: "The 'caravan' - the procession of floats - has arrived on the Champs Elysees. Bemused looks from massed Brits as sweets hurled their way."

  77. 1348: 

    Wiggins drops right to the back of the peloton for a team shot with his Team Sky colleagues but it's proving slightly more problematic than it probably should be. Lots of shuffling of team cars and getting other riders out of shot. They'll get split from the peloton at this rate. All eight remaining riders strung out across the road - Kanstantin Siutsou, who broke his leg earlier in the Tour, the only Sky rider not making it to Paris. Then it's more staged shots, all lined up in a train. Surely the photographers could get that same shot on the Champs Elysees...

  78. 1340: 

    Rob Arnold - Australian journalist, editor of RIDE Cycling Review, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "Cadel Evans has taken the sport to a new level for us - cycling now shares the headlines with the other sports in Australia. I think it will be the same in England for years to come."

  79. 1336: 

    Bill-payer on Twitter: "Surely that sheepdog at the TdF stage start should have been in Sky colours? They way it rounded up those breakaway sheep..."

  80. 1335: 

    Sean in Bristol, via text on 81111: "Stuck in work on the most important day of the year! I hope my manager brings in his laptop later so I can the final bit of the stage. Come on Wiggo, Froome and Cav!"

    Alwyn in Breda, via text on 81111: "Watching in Netherlands. So so proud of Wiggins, Froome, Cavendish and Millar. Well done."

    Doug in Balham, via text on 81111: "Box hill was looking great today with all the paint on the road for Wiggo and Cav. Come on "les rosbifs" let's smash it today and next week!"

  81. 1334:  
    Yellow Jersey

    Lovely sportsmanship there from 2011 champion Cadel Evans who gives Wiggo a friendly pat and says well done to his British rival. In fact, if you look all through the peloton, rather than riders grouped togther in their familiar trains, they are all mingling, chatting away. Wonder if they realise they need to be in Paris in a couple of hours?

  82. 1331:  
    White Jersey

    The white jersey for the best young rider, under the age of 25, goes to Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing. The American, who will finish fifth overall, is six minutes, 13 seconds ahead of France's Thibot Pinaut in that classification.

  83. 1330:  
    Polkadot Jersey

    To the delight of the French fans, home rider Thomas Voeckler of Europcar takes the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey. There are still a couple of points up for grabs today as there are two category four climbs to negotiate but he is on 134 points, 11 clear of Sweden's Fredrik Kessiakoff of Astana.

  84. 1327:  
    Green Jersey

    Let's just tidy up those other general classification positions then. Liquigas rider Peter Sagan takes the green points jersey - which is usually won by one of the sprinters. The 22-year-old Slovakian has won three stages so far and leads Germany's Andre Greipel by 122 points. Mark Cavendish won the jersey in 2011 but with Team Sky concentrating on winning the yellow jersey and Cav looking to the Olympic road race, he was never going to seriously challenge.

  85. 1321:  
    Yellow Jersey

    Wiggins looking terrific in yellow helmet, yellow jersey, yellow shoes, yellow sunglasses, but trademark black shorts and riding a yellow bike. He can't stop smiling as rider after rider comes alongside to offer their congratulations. They've just gone past a sign warning road users to be wary of deer bolting out of the forest for the next 500m...

  86. 1318:  
    Simon Brotherton, Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    In Paris on Twitter: "Great on this special day for Britain that our 1st ever stage winner (1958) Brian Robinson is here to enjoy the moment."

  87. 1317: 

    The pace is positively pedestrian as the flag goes down to mark the official start of the day's race and the riders roll out of Rambouillet. It's so slow that there's bloke on a bike riding alongside on a cyclepath with a Union flag attached to the back of his bike. In fact he's just overtaken Wiggo!

  88. 1314:  
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter

    On Twitter: "Well, that was nuts. The organisers brought out 4 sheep in TdF jerseys and a sheepdog to... erm, perform at the start. Very good."

  89. 1313: 

    Graeme in China, via text on 81111: "Fantastic holiday with family - don't tell them the best bit is Sky and Wiggo."

    Chris G in Spain, via text on 81111: "Watching TdF in a bar in the Canaries - that's the afternoon sorted. Well done Wiggo and Team Sky!"

  90. 1307:  
    Yellow JerseyLIVE NOW

    Here we go then with the start of the final stage. Bradley Wiggins, Tejay van Garderen, Peter Sagan and Thomas Voeckler lead the peloton around Rambouillet. Wiggins in race-leading yellow. Van Garderen in white as the best young rider, Sagan in the green points jersey and Voeckler the polka-dot wearing King of the Mountains.

  91. 1300: 

    Guardian cycling correspondent William Fotheringham on Twitter: "Can't quite get my head round what we are going to see today in Paris. Been waiting over 30 years for this."

  92. 1259: 

    Think I got a little ahead of myself at 1247 - if Wiggins has an accident in the final 3km, he will be given the same time as the group he was with. Still don't think he will lead Cav right up to the line - the Olympic Games are only one week away.

  93. 1255: 

    Simon des Forges on Twitter: "Can u bowl Wiggo? We could use you in the cricket if you're not busy today."

  94. 1254:  
    Yellow JerseyOverall top five after stage 19:

    1. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky 84 hours, 26 minutes, 31 seconds

    2. Christopher Froome (GB) Team Sky @ 3'21"

    3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas @ 6'19"

    4. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol @ 10'15"

    5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC @ 11'04"

  95. 1251: 

    Neil and Jo in Paris, via text on 81111: "Sat in a cafe on the Champs Elysees soaking up the atmosphere waiting for a Wiggo Froome one-two and Cav to win the sprint! Allez Team Sky."

    Dom in Malaysia, via text on 81111: "Stuck in Kuala Lumpur on business for nearly all of the TdF - Live text coverage has kept me going - congrats to Wiggo. Go Cav."

  96. 1247: 

    Team Sky have already said that they are planning on trying to lead out Cavendish for the stage win today. What an awesome sight that would be. The yellow jersey on the front of the peloton on the final ride down the Champs-Elysees. While I think Wiggins will take his turn on the front, I'm fairly sure his orders will be to peel away and finish in the safety of the bunch. We don't want any mishaps in the final kilometre or so as the sprinters jostle for position.

  97. 1241:  
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter

    In Paris and on Twitter:

    "Dave Brailsford didn't want to tempt fate with the respray, by the way, but was outvoted by team. A glass of champagne last night for the lads last night. Each, not one to share. Job to do today. Make a train."

  98. 1240: 

    Thirty minutes until the riders depart Rambouillet for Paris. Once they get to the French captial, the Team Sky boys will be at the head of the peloton to lead the race into the first of eight 6km laps around the city. Expect attacks from there on in but the main bunch should chase down any riders who do breakaway to set up a sprint finish finale. Will Cavendish remain unbeaten? Sprint rivals Matt Goss, Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan will be trying to end his run.

  99. 1233: 
    Tim Franks, BBC sports news correspondent

    In Paris and on Twitter: "The Champs Elysees swamped in Lycra and T-shirt homages to 'Wiggo' and 'Supermanx'."

  100. 1230: 
    Team GB alert

    Of course, the success of the British riders in the Tour bodes well for the Olympics. Wiggins, Froome and David Millar, who rides for Garmin and has also won a stage in this Tour, will team up to try and help road race world champion Mark Cavendish win the Olympic road race next Saturday in London. Wiggins and Froome, who finished first and second in both time trials on the Tour, will also go in the Olympic time trial.

  101. 1224: 

    Tim in Marlow, via text on 81111: "Just got back from a leisurely ride with the kids and the town is HEAVING with cyclists. All because of the lovely weather? Possibly. But you've got to think that Wiggo, Froome and the rest have something to do with it. Marvellous!"

    Nick P in Paris, via text on 81111: "Sat in the sunshine enjoying a beer by Notre Dame before making my way to the Champs Elysees for Wiggo's coronation!"

  102. 1222: 

    It's fair to say the team has already done a decent job of dominating this year's race. Five of the 19 stages have been won by three British riders at Team Sky, with two for Wiggo, two for Cav and one for Froome. We have British riders in first and second in the overall standings and the possibility of Cavendish upping his tally to three this afternoon.

  103. 1217: 

    This is just the start of the journey for Team Sky though, according to head coach Shane Sutton. He told BBC Sport's Chris Bevan that it is "about becoming the Barcelona or Manchester United of cycling. We want to try to dominate the sport".

  104. 1214:  
    Team Sky

    Mark Cavendish: "The most famous bike race finish in the world. The most beautiful boulevard in the world. Avenue des Champs-Elysees…"

    Christian Knees: "Thanks Team Sky staff for their great work over last couple of weeks."

    Geraint Thomas, who is not riding the race this year: "What a day for British sport, let alone cycling... Massive congrats Bradley Wiggins & whole of Team Sky. Today is just the beginning!"

  105. 1212:  
    Yellow Jersey

    After blazing to victory in Saturday's time trial, Wiggins admitted that he has been dreaming about this day since watching Miguel Indurain win five Tours de France: He said: "The last 10k I was thinking of a lot of things and it was spurring me to go on even harder. Dreaming that one day you would win the Tour, but thinking: 'What chance has a kid growing up in central London got of winning the Tour?' It's been an incredible road."

  106. 1208: 

    Jonny from Barking, via text on 81111: "Olympic torch relay right past my house this morning followed by Wiggo on the verge of winning TDF. What a great day to be British!"

  107. 1205: 

    How are you lot feeling this fine summer's day? Your texts and tweets are very much wanted to help provide the colour to today's procession into Paris. Who is lucky enough to be on the Champs Elysees? Anyone in Rambouillet preparing to cheer the riders off? Anyone still en route to Paris? Anyone putting sideburns on the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe? Are you, like me, stuck in England, wishing you were in Paris? Is the champagne already flowing? tweet #bbccycling or Text me on 81111. Please put cycling on all messages and remember to add your name, otherwise I can't use your message.

  108. 1159: 

    The day will, unashamedly, mostly be about Wiggins. But let's not forget the small matter of the sprint finish on the Champs Elysees later. Mark Cavendish, he also of Great Britain and Team Sky, will have his eyes on an unprecedented fourth successive victory in Paris. In fact, the Manx Missile is unbeaten on the Champs Elysees.

  109. 1154: 

    BBC Sport's Richard Conway, in Paris, on Twitter: "British fans all along Champs Elysees. They're looking forward to seeing Wiggins, also hoping Mark Cavendish can win stage yet again."

    BBC Sport's Chris Bevan, sadly not in Paris, on Twitter: "Has anyone made a giant Wiggo sideburn to be unfurled from the top of the Eiffel Tower?"

  110. 1152: 

    You wait 109 years for a podium finish and then two come along at once...yes, we've had our moments, with Scotland's Robert Millar, in 1984 and Wiggo himself, in 2009, both coming fourth but nobody has made the podium. Here we are today though with Wiggins in the famous yellow jersey and his British Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome in second.

  111. 1147: 

    Today's stage is due to get under way in the French town of Rambouillet at 1310 BST. I appreciate that's getting on for 90 minutes away, but I think we need plenty of time to bask in this victory. No British rider has come close to winning the Tour de France in its 109-year history.

  112. 1139:  
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter

    In Paris and on Twitter: "Sky vehicles aren't black & blue anymore...can u guess which colour has replaced blue stripe?"

  113. 1136: 
    Graham Jones, Radio 5 live sports extra co-commentator

    "The amount of Brits on the Champs Elysees is unbelievable, all I can see is Union flags and every other person I hear has an English voice. I have never seen anything like this before in Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France."

  114. 1135:  
    Yellow Jersey

    I say poised, but in reality, Wiggins has this race in the bag. The only thing that can prevent him being crowned champion is if he has an accident that stops him crossing the finish line on the Champs Elysees. That has never happened before and I really don't expect it to start today.

  115. 1133:  
    Yellow Jersey

    Hello and welcome to the denouement of the 2012 Tour de France. Three weeks ago 198 riders started out on the 99th edition of the biggest stage race in cycling with 3,497km of road ahead of them. Today, the 153 riders still pedalling will complete the final 120km of the race into the French capital Paris with Bradley Wiggins poised to become the first British rider to win the race.

  116. 1130: 

    Tour de France champion elect Bradley Wiggins: "In a sporting sense it's my greatest sporting achievement. I've just won the Tour. What else is there bigger than that? I'm determined not to let it change me. I'm not into celebrity life, red carpet, all that rubbish. I go home and I have to clean up dog muck and that's incredibly grounding."