The Garmin-Slipstream team rolled into the finish of the 96th Tour de France in Paris on Sunday with a list of major accomplishments from the three-week grand tour. British rider Bradley Wiggins was the revelation of this year’s Tour with his incredible fourth-place finish in the general classification, and American Christian Vande Velde finished eighth, giving Garmin-Slipstream two top-10 finishes in the overall.
American sprinter Tyler Farrar finished third on Sunday, capping off an impressive run of top finishes in his first ever Tour de France.
In addition to the individual successes, Garmin-Slipstream finished second overall in the team classification, just behind Astana, the team of overall winner Alberto Contador.
Sunday’s Stage 21, a 164km ride from Montereau-Fault-Yonne to the traditional finish on Paris’s Champs-Elysees, was won by Brit Mark Cavendish. Farrar finished third, making it five top-five finishes in the Tour.
With his fourth-place finish in the overall, Wiggins joined Robert Millar as best-placed Tour finishers from the U.K. Millar also finished fourth in 1984. Wiggins' ride was a stunning achievement for a man known more for his track racing accomplishments, including six Olympic medals
“Everyone laughed when I said I could go top twenty but these last three weeks have changed everything for me and I have to re-think the next few years,” Wiggins told Cyclingnews.com after the race. “I’ve gone from being a mediocre rider to top four in the Tour.”
Now the Garmin-Slipstream Tour riders take a well-deserved break before turning their attention to the second half of the 2009 season.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Stage 21, Montereau-Fault-Yonne to Paris, 154km
1. Mark Cavendish (GB), Columbia-HTC, 4:02:18
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Columbia-HTC, same time
3. Tyler Farrar (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, same time
4. Geralk Ciolek (Ger), Milram, same time
5. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr), same time
Final Overall Standings
1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, 85:48:35
2. Andy Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 4:11
3. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, at 5:24
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 6:01
5. Frank Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 6:04
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 12:04