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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

9 comments

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Carlton Reid [128 posts] 3 years ago
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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?

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velobetty [71 posts] 3 years ago
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There has also been the #allezwiggo hashtag too!  1

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scubajonny [16 posts] 3 years ago
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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!

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Simon_MacMichael [2449 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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notfastenough [3673 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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theflatboy [10 posts] 3 years ago
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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!

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robert_obrien [118 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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bloody hypocrites! showing interest now that we have a potential winner, typical ...

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Alan Tullett [1566 posts] 3 years ago
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He can still crash and break his collar bone

break a leg Wiggo, as they say in the theatre