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Wiggins boosts Tour de France chances with historic California win

ESPN staff
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Sir Bradley Wiggins took the yellow jersey after winning the second stage © Getty Images
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Sir Bradley Wiggins has put himself in contention for a ride at the Tour de France by winning the Tour of California as Mark Cavendish won the final stage ahead of John Degenkolb in a photo-finish.

Wiggins becomes Britain's maiden winner of the event after finishing 30 seconds ahead of Australian Rohan Dennis in the general classification.

In April, Wiggins said his place at this year's Tour de France was in doubt as he was not an automatic choice for Team Sky following comments made by British Cycling's technical director Shane Sutton.

Sutton said reigning champion and Team Sky's Chris Froome would have the "best riders available on the grid" and was not sure "whether Brad is going to be on that list."

But asked whether he thinks he will be part of the team at Le Tour in July, Wiggins said: "You'll get me in trouble for asking that.

"Chris (Froome) wants to win his second Tour and, as the defending champion, everyone understands that, including myself. If I am fortunate enough to be in the Tour, it will be in support of Chris."

Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, won stage two's individual time trial to take the yellow jersey in California and heaped plenty of praise on his Team Sky colleagues for the victory on Sunday.

"As strong as my performance was in time trial, the team have taken the strain all week. They've done a fantastic job, even today they didn't give up the chase," he said.

"This victory is right up there, the reception we've had from the US public it's been a real honour. At 34, it's nice to still be winning at this age," he added.

Meanwhile, Cavendish sealed his second stage win despite being distanced on the final climb. His Omega Pharma-QuickStep team worked hard to get him back into contention for the stage win and, once back with the leading riders, Cavendish was able to take victory ahead of Degenkolb.

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