Bradley Wiggins' historic Tour De France win sparked a 25% rise in the TV audience for the gruelling contest, figures showed today.
The competition pulled in its biggest ever viewing figures yesterday afternoon when a peak of 3.6 million tuned in to see Wiggins become the first Brit to win the yellow jersey more than a century after the competition was founded.
The live coverage was broadcast on ITV1 and ITV4 with 2.6 million and one million tuning in to each of the channels at 4.20pm.
Coverage on ITV4 - the TV home of the Tour De France - was up by a quarter on 2011 for the combined viewing figures for the live broadcasts, a nightly highlights shows and a morning repeat, ITV said.
The live coverage on the channel has seen its audience increase by 21%.