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      2012 Tour de France

      (Click here to see the map enlarged)

      The latest headlines from the 2012 Tour de France

      7/22/2012: Wiggins becomes first British rider to win The Tour

      Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France by safely protecting the yellow jersey during Sunday's final processional ride into Paris -- and even helping Sky teammate Mark Cavendish earn his fourth straight sprint victory on the Champs-Elysees, according to CBS Sports.

      Wiggins secured his win with a dominating performance in Saturday's final time trial to extend his already commanding lead. Fellow Briton and Sky teammate Christopher Froome finished second, 3 minutes, 21 seconds behind overall. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy finished third, 6:19 off the pace.

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      7/20/2012: Mark Cavendish wins 18th stage of Tour de France

      Mark Cavendish won the 18th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint as countryman and race leader Bradley Wiggins moved ever closer to becoming the first British champion. Frank Schleck says a backup sample has confirmed he tested positive for a banned diuretic at the Tour de France, accoding to USA Today and the Associated Press.

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      7/19/2012: Wiggins closing in on maiden title

      ( Reuters ) - Bradley Wiggins closed in on a maiden Tour de France title on Thursday but had to deal with controversial behavior from team mate Chris Froome which some saw as patronizing on the final mountain stage.

      Spaniard Alejandro Valverde won the 17th stage, with Froome coming home second 19 seconds back and ahead of Wiggins who retained the overall leader's yellow jersey with a lead of two minutes five seconds over his Sky team mate.

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      7/17/2012: Uh Oh! Who's doping?

      The Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck is out of the Tour de France after failing a doping test, taken on 14 July, for the banned diuretic Xipamide. A spokesman for his RadioShack-Nissan team said he would not be continuing in the race.

      Xipamide is a sulfonamide used for the treatment of oedema, fluid retention and hypertension. The UCI informed Schleck of the news earlier this afternoon and requested his removal from the Tour. Schleck has four days to request the analysis of his B sample, according to The Guardian.

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      7/16/2012: Stage 15 in full force, Where is Wiggins?

      2.09pm: The escape party has been caught by the main bunch, which means it's time for the attacks start again. It's been like this since the first kilometre, apparently. Vino Vinolourov goes and gets caught. Thomas Voeckler goes and gets caught. The peloton is strung out like last week's washing.

      2.06pm: Katusha and Cofidis ignore Eisel and continue to attack the bunch, while Egoi Martinez (EUS), Marco Marcato (VCD), Yury Trofimov (KAT) and Vino Vinokourov (AST) come from nowhere to bridge the gap between peloton and breakaway group. They must be going at some speed, because the main bunch is going ridiculously fast for the afternoon that's in it, at 43.2km-per-hour.

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      7/13/2012: 12 stage, 5 leaders pulling away from the pack

      2.24pm: The leaders keep going: there now 12 minutes ahead of the pack. In other news, in case you're interested, John Terry has been declared not guilty or racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. "From Stateside, this Yank suggests another investment in the future, in TeeJay Vangarderen, current wearer of the best young rider's White Jersey," toots Ken Grabach. "Or the telegenic and histrionic Peter Sagan, from Slovakia. There's a neutral suggestion that gives some cred for basing your enthusiasm on performance rather than national origins. Also an investment in the future as he's a first-time Tour rider, and is in the sprinter's green jersey," accodring to The Guardian.

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      7/12/2012: 11th stage brings a leader change up

      2.57pm: Cadel Evans now has a 20-second lead on the Bradley Wiggins. Evans is being towed along by his BMC team-mate Tejay van Garderen. Wiggins is being assisted by the Sky train of Michael Rogers, Richie Porte and Chris Froome. The peloton has exploded and is in bits, but Vicenzo Nibali is still in touch, according to The Guardian.

      2.55pm: Christian Knees has been dropped from the yellow jersey group, while his team-mate Michael Rogers is making the pace for Bradley Wiggins. Christian Horner has moved up a place and is just behind the yellow jersey. Although there's no sign of panic, for the first time in this Tour, Sky are under pressure.

      At 10:04 a.m. here, it is 4:04 p.m. in France. The times above reflect French time.

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      7/11/2012: Rest day is over, 10th stage begins

      The Tour peloton headed towards the Alps with today's 194.5-kilometre route from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, with Wiggins entering the 10th stage with an advantage of one minute 53 seconds over nearest rival and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).

      Wiggins won Monday's ninth stage to enhance his position in the yellow jersey and claim Team Sky's third success on Tour following Cavendish's 21st stage success on stage two and Chris Froome's win on stage seven, according to The Telegraph.

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      07/10/2012: First Rest Day in Macon

      Today, Tuesday 10 July, the southernmost town in Burgundy invites you to a unique day on the theme of culinary delights whilst strolling through the charming pedestrian streets. Friendly atmosphere, musical entertainment and a tasting tour are scheduled for this festive day. In the town centre squares that have been renamed for the occasion with the names of the great wines of the Mâcon region you can tantalise your taste buds with Burgundy and Mâcon specialities and you can take a wine glass home as a souvenir.

      Classification as of Yesterday pos. name rider No. Team times gap 1. WIGGINS Bradley 101 SKY PROCYCLING 39h 09' 20'' 2. EVANS Cadel 1 BMC RACING TEAM 39h 11' 13'' 01' 53'' 3. FROOME Christopher 105 SKY PROCYCLING 39h 11' 27'' 02' 07'' 4. NIBALI Vincenzo 51 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE 39h 11' 43'' 02' 23'' 5. MENCHOV Denis 131 KATUSHA TEAM 39h 12' 22'' 03' 02'' Click here fore more in-depth LIVE coverage

      07/09/2012: Velits at the 1st check at 9:45 a.m

      The Slovakian TT champion, Peter Velits has reached the 16.5km check with a time of 21'50" - the third fastest of the day. The new top five at Abbans-Dessus is:

      1. Cancellara - 16.5km in 21'37"

      2. Chavanel at 7"

      3. Velits at 13"

      4. Martin at 39"

      5. Voigt at 46"

      That's three men from one team in second, third, and fourth...

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      07/04/2012: No change to GC: Cancellara still leads the Tour 2012 It was a sprint of a different nature as Cavendish was not in the mix. He crashed with 2.6km to go. Meanwhile, up ahead his usual rivals all fought it out for the stage and Greipel won the drag race. For all the time spent on their bikes today - over five hours in the saddle - there was no change to the top order of the general classification.

      Fabian Cancellara will spend his 26th day in the Tour de France's yellow jersey in stage five.

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      07/02/2012 - Hunter: We'll definitely be there...

      In LeTour.frâ??s discussion with Robbie Hunter, we asked if we call you a lead-out man, â??domestique muscle-manâ?? or sprinter. â??Tyler [Farrar] has come here in good form and my job here always is to lead him out. If heâ??s not up to it, then Iâ??ll be there to see what I can do. Iâ??m pretty sure that there are always opportunities to have a go and somewhere along the line Iâ??ll manage to do both: lead him out and maybe get over a climb that he canâ??t and see if I can make the most of the situation.â??

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      06/25/ 2012 - When the lights are green, we race to the finishing line!

      Like in athletics, people are fascinated to know the name of the worldâ??s fastest man. When it comes to cycling, the fastest speeds are judged according to the more or less massive sprints, for which points are awarded. While this field has been dominated by Mark Cavendish for several seasons, the struggle for the green jersey is especially rewarding for those who perform the most consistently throughout the race. The new intermediate sprint rules adopted last year also add a strategic dimension to the debate.

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