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The 2012 Tour de France in pictures

This summer of sport has thrown up so many memorable moments and images, none greater than the 2012 Tour de France and the magnificent Bradley Wiggins. These pictures from The Atlantic are just a taste of the majesty of the toughest sporting competition on earth.

The 99th Tour de France cycling race began on July 1, as 22 teams of nine riders raced through Belgium, Switzerland and France. The entire tour covered a distance of 3,497 km (2,173 mi). Sky Procycling rider Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain became the first Briton ever to win the tour on Sunday, July 22. Gathered here are images from the second half of the 2012 Tour de France. Part 1 can be found over here.  [42 photos]

Bradley Wiggins of Britain — he first Briton to ever win the Tour de France — kisses the trophy as he celebrates his overall victory on the podium after the final stage, on July 22, 2012. (Reuters/Jerome Prevost)

Sky Procycling rider Mark Cavendish of Britain (left) sprints to win the 18th stage of the Tour de France in Brive-La-Gaillarde, on July 20, 2012. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Thomas Voeckler of France, center, crosses the finish line ahead of Michele Scarpone of Italy, left, and Jens Voigt of Germany, right, to win the 10th stage of the Tour de France in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, France, on July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The peloton passes a woman on a horse during the 13th stage of the Tour de France, on July 14, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe)

The peloton passes through a sunflower field during stage eighteen in Blagnac, France, on July 20, 2012. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The pack with Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, Tejay van Garderen of the US, wearing the best young rider’s white jersey, and Fredrik Kessiakoff of Sweden, wearing the best climber’s dotted jersey, awaits the start of the 14th stage in Limoux, on July 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Overall leader Bradley Wiggins celebrates at the end of the 53.5 km individual time-trial and nineteenth stage of the Tour de France in Chartres, France, on July 21, 2012. Wiggins won the stage, all but securing his overall win of the entire tour. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

See the rest of these fantastic images here