For days now, the focus has been on how the Pyrenees would influence the race for overall honours but stage 18 is different. Even the race leader Bradley Wiggins allowed his mind to wander in the closing kilometres of stage 17 because, finally, he dared let the thought that he was actually going to win the Tour de France enter his mind. Sky has effectively been on the front of the peloton most of the way for the 1,520km from La Planche des Belles Filles to the final summit finish of the 99th edition. The team of the GC leader has to take that responsibility and Wiggins and his colleagues won't be idle in the race from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde but they can allow themselves the luxury of a little bit of rest as their thoughts turn to the final time trial... and the journey to Paris as it seems that the title winner has indeed been decided. The final Friday of the 2012 Tour might have a few hills but the mountains are behind the peloton. The prize jerseys have all effectively been decided but there's still the glory of a stage win on offer. The profile begs for a sprint finish and tired legs will limit the number of candidates for an escape but 14 teams are still without a victory. This is a day for them to seize one of the few remaining chances that are on offer in this year's race...
Many elements may be decided but glory is still on offer...
- 23:00Summary of the race
- 17:39Great Brit: Wiggins creates history
- 16:00Interview - Stage Winner
- 19:02Sagan: «I want to finish this season...
- 18:56Froome: «I couldn't be happier»
- 18:49Van Garderen: «It's been a huge three...
- 18:43Cavendish: «You've seen my sprint is...
- 18:31Wiggins: «It's very surreal»
- 11:45Analysis of the stage
- 10:30The day's route
Jersey wearers after the stage 20
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