The results of the opening prologue in Liège served-up a fitting snapshot for how the Tour de France would unfold: Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) won his fifth Tour prologue, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) finished second and his team won the day’s team classification. Cancellara fought valiantly to hold the yellow jersey for the entire first week until the race hit the mountains in stage seven. Sky demonstrated just how powerful they would be when the road tilted upward and Wiggins took over the race lead. It was a scene that would be repeated over the entire race.
Sky’s relentless pace-setting caused contenders to fall away stage after stage. Classification riders seemed resigned to hang-on as Sky’s domestiques went about demoralising anyone with ambitions to improve their position. Riders attacked and were duly wound back and dislodged from the ever-shrinking peloton. Wiggins extended his lead in the time trials while his teammate Chris Froome secured in his second-place spot.
Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) may have looked doubtful for a repeat of last year's exploits but he arguably enjoyed a better year by taking two stage wins and the polka-dot jersey into France. He wasn’t gifted the mountains classification and his attacking style was 'interesting' to watch.
The sprints were the most exciting part of the race as Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Mark Cavendish (Sky) traded wins. Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) was in it for the green jersey but Sagan was simply too good. Cavendish rounded-out his Tour with a fourth win on the Champs-Élysées while Sagan won the points classification.