After 109 years of waiting, Great Britain finally clinched its greatest ever sporting achievement - a victory in the Tour de France - with a poise and collective domination by its number one squad, Team Sky. Bradley Wiggins and his blue-clad Sky troops brushed aside everything the Tour could throw at him: brutal first week crashes, relentless media pressure, hooligans sabotaging the roads with nails and flares, mammoth time trials and infernal Alpine and Pyrenean mountain stages. Not to mention the threat of treason from within the ranks of Sky itself.
Wiggins victory was far from the only highlight of the 2012 Tour. 2012 was the year, too, that Colorado's Tejay Van Garderen, fifth overall and Best Young Rider champion, became America's new Tour de France hero, and outshone teammate and 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans. 2012 was the year that triple stage winner Peter Sagan, just 22 but already predicted a future Tour champion, kept the green points jersey out of Sky's clutches - a herculean task. 2012 was the year, too, that World Champion's Mark Cavendish's fourth straight victory on the Champs Elysees saw the Briton - finally - crowned the Tour's top all time sprinter, bringing down the curtain on a Tour packed with the greatest of historic sporting breakthroughs.