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Bradley Wiggins eyes Olympic success after historic win

Bradley Wiggins celebrates on the finish line after the final stage of the 99th Tour de France Photo: Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Bradley Wiggins has made history today by becoming the first British man to win the Tour de France.

The 32-year-old punched his arms in the air and clapped as he crossed the finish line on Paris's Champs-Elysees.

He completed the day three minutes and 21 seconds ahead of his Team Sky colleague Christopher Froome, who becomes the second Briton on the podium in the history of the race.

There were jubilant scenes as British fans who travelled to Paris celebrated the result.

But there will be little time for celebration as the cyclist says he will now turn his attention to Olympic success.

Tonight I go home. Everything turns to the Olympics and I'll be out on the bike tomorrow and I've got an Olympic time-trial to try and win.

It's a little weird to leave Paris without a party because it would be nice to spend time with the team and really enjoy it.

– Bradley Wiggins
Fans dressed as Bradley Wiggins celebrate as the cyclist became the first British rider to win the Tour de France Credit: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

Shortly after crossing the line, Wiggins spoke briefly to ITV.

Afterwards he stepped up on to the podium for the presentation ceremony and the National Anthem was sung by Lesley Garrett.

Wiggins told the crowd:

I just wanted to say thank you for all the support all the way around.

It's been a magical couple of weeks for the team and for British cycling.

Some dreams can come true, and now my old mother over there, her son's won the Tour de France.

– Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins of Sky Pro Racing celebrates on the winners podium after winning the 2012 Tour de France in Paris. Credit: PA Wire

Many cycling stars took to Twitter to congratulate Wiggins and his team mates achievement including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Fans also celebrated his success in the UK, as ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports.

Wiggins' feat is expected to make him remembered as one of Britain's greatest ever sportsmen.

The final stage was the 13th consecutive day that he had worn the race leader's yellow jersey in the 99th edition of the gruelling 20 stage, 3,497 kilometre (2,173-mile) race.

Bradley Wiggins of Sky Pro Racing acknowledges second placed rider and team mate, Chris Froome as they stand on the winners podium Credit: PA Wire

Christopher Froome who became the second Briton on the podium in the history of the race said:

"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 [Mark Cavendish] has been the cherry on the cake after three amazing weeks."

Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the race into Paris Credit: PA Wire

Fellow Brit and Team Sky team mate Mark Cavendish won the final stage of the race into Paris for the fourth year running.

Cavendish, who powered to the front in his rainbow jersey 400 metres from the line, has won on the French capital's most famous boulevard in each of the Tours he has completed - in 2009, 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man, who also won stages two and 18, now has 23 Tour stage wins, moving above Lance Armstrong and Andre Darrigade into fourth place in the all-time list.

Cavendish told ITV: "It's incredible. It couldn't be more perfect. It couldn't be a better end to an amazing tour."

Bradley Wiggins of Sky Pro Racing (yellow jersey), followed by team mate Mark Cavendish, during Stage 20 of the Tour de France Credit: PA Wire

Sir Bradley?

Before Bradley Wiggins had even crossed the finishing line to become the first ever British winner of cycling's greatest race, the internet was already buzzing with calls for the Team Sky rider to be knighted.

Wiggins was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to cycling after he won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens four months earlier.

But the clamour has now begun for the the Tour de France winner to become a 'Sir' and to see him crowned Sports Personality of the Year.

Writing on Wiggins' Facebook page, Bob Collishe was among those calling for a knighthood for the cyclist.

What a complete pleasure watching the tour this year. You've worked so hard and deserve it. Arise Sir Bradley Wiggins is all I can say - spectacular cycling and athletic career you've had.

Arise Sir Bradley. Possibly the best performance ever by a UK athlete and possibly the best season ever by any athlete anywhere in the world. You legend :)

– Jim Critchley

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