Brad all over: ITV1 to screen last two stages of Tour de France as Wiggo hits the headlines

Wider audience for Saturday's iTT plus Sunday's Champs-Elysees finale with Cav going for 4th straight win

by Simon_MacMichael   July 20, 2012  

ITV1 logo.jpg

ITV1 will air the final two stages of the Tour de France this weekend as Bradley Wiggins heads towards victory in Paris, a further sign that mainstream media has woken up to the magnitude of the Team Sky rider's achievement in becoming the first British winner of the race in its 109-year history. The broadcaster will also show the final two stages simultaneously on ITV4, the usual home of its cycling coverage.

With Wiggins and team mate Chris Froome set to complete an historic one-two in Paris this weekend - no British rider has previously finished higher than fourth, a feat achieved by Robert Millar in 1984 and Wiggins himself in 2009, when he was with Garmin-Transitions - two national newspapers, The Daily Telegraph and The Times, have the maillot jaune as their main front page picture this morning.

With the Team Sky pair now safely through the mountains and extending their lead over third-placed Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas-Cannondale yesterday, TV news bulletins are also devoting additional time to the race as it heads towards its climax, while ITV4 last night screened a 45-minute documentary on Wiggins which you can watch on the ITV Player.

ITV1's screening of the final two stages, an individual time trial from Bonneval to Chartres which should see the pair extend their lead at the top of the general classification, and Sunday's traditional procession into Paris culminating in Mark Cavendish aiming to take the sprint on the Champs-Elysees for the fourth year in a row, will bring the race to an even wider audience than are currently following it through ITV4 and Eurosport, as well as the thousands of fans expected to make the trip across the Channel to the French capital.

It's also a reflection of the fact that the story of Wiggins' journey towards the maillot jaune is a feel-good story in this most dismal of summers, although the cyclist may not be aware of that himself, stuck as he is inside the Tour bubble.

At yesterday evening's press conference, he lamented that for all the questions he's fielded throughout the race, and the one he'd just been asked about whether the race would be remembered more for the absence of Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck no-one had said to him, 'Bloody good on you, mate, well done.'

As Carlton Reid points out in the comments below, that's now being put right with a hashtag #bloodygoodonyoumatewelldone now doing the rounds on Twitter.

Coverage of the two stages starts at 2pm on ITV1 and ITV4 on both Saturday and Sunday, with Eurosport's coverage of tomorrow's individual time trial beginning at 12.30pm and Sunday's final stage at 1.30pm.

9 user comments

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Wiggo complained yesterday that the press conference questions were largely negative and that nobody wished him "bloody good on you mate, well done."

Let's put that right. There's a hashtag...

#bloodygoodonyoumatewelldone

Could you place in story and tweet it out there, too?

Carlton Reid's picture

posted by Carlton Reid [108 posts]
20th July 2012 - 9:47

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There has also been the #allezwiggo hashtag too! Smile

posted by roseofwinter [40 posts]
20th July 2012 - 10:09

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Good on ITV for lifting the profile and celebrating what will be (fingers crossed) Britain's best ever tour. Coverage has been disappointingly muted on BBC, but I suppose that's because they are covering golf/tennis instead. Given that when Andy Murray lost he was the lead story on the evening news, I'm interested to see how they cover Wiggo's success and a 1-2 in the tour!

posted by scubajonny [14 posts]
20th July 2012 - 11:29

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Don't know about other channels, but on BBC I imagine he'll be knocked into second place by some bloke in checked trousers who's spent the past four days ambling around the Lancashire coast, stopping periodically to whack a ball with a stick.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7930 posts]
20th July 2012 - 13:19

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Don't get me started Simon! All that 'sport' is missing is a dog and it's (literally) a walk in the park chasing a ball! And who on earth would decorate sports kit in Argyle?! Oh, hang on...

Good to see some recognition of the achievement - I keep telling everyone it's as big as England winning the world cup, but I get a fair few blank looks.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2953 posts]
20th July 2012 - 13:31

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"the magnitude of the Team Sky rider's achievement in becoming the first British winner of the race in its 109-year history"... way to tempt fate, people!

posted by theflatboy [3 posts]
20th July 2012 - 14:21

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When I get the blank looks about the tour I say 'You know how we feel when other people win at football and rugby and cricket and tennis? The sports we invented and formalised. That's how the French feel about cycling in general and the TdF in particular'. That usually gets them onside.

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
20th July 2012 - 16:17

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bloody hypocrites! showing interest now that we have a potential winner, typical ...

posted by Karbon Kev [667 posts]
20th July 2012 - 18:36

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He can still crash and break his collar bone

break a leg Wiggo, as they say in the theatre

posted by Alan Tullett [1434 posts]
20th July 2012 - 19:36

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