Wiggins 'relief' at victory
Sir Bradley Wiggins admitted it was a relief to wrap up overall victory at the Tour of Britain after consolidating his lead in a frantic final stage in London.
The 33-year-old Team Sky avoided incident over ten laps of an 8.8km circuit in central London to complete a 26-second triumph over Switzerland's Martin Elmiger.
Wiggins had moved into the race lead by winning stage three's time trial and then successfully defended it in the testing remaining five stages.
It was his first stage race victory of the season and biggest result since winning gold at the London 2012 Olympic time trial last summer.
"At the moment, it is just relief that the job is done," Wiggins said afterwards. "From the minute you have won the time trial [on stage three] you believe you can win the general classification, but it is not over until you have crossed that line.
"The [lead] was only 26 seconds. It was a pretty hectic finish as everyone wants to win the last stage."
Wiggins said the triumph was made more special by having taken place in front of his home fans, who once again packed the streets of London to watch the final stage.
"You can't fail to hear the crowd," he added. "It is a bit like the Olympics. I expected it as every year the race finishes in London it has been fantastic. It was the same today."
The final stage was won by Mark Cavendish, who took his third victory of this year's race and tenth at the Tour of Britain in total.
The 28-year-old British national champion was given a perfect lead-out by his Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team-mates and went on to beat Sam Bennett into second place and Elia Viviani into third.
He said afterwards: "It is really nice to win, especially with the crowds, which have been incredible. The last time I was here, two years ago, it was a big crowd then, but nowhere near today.
"I just wanted to win in this jersey, representing the national champion of this country. To do this at the tenth anniversary of the Tour of Britain is very special."
Cavendish revealed his good form at the Tour of Britain was the result of hard training in preparation for next Sunday's world championship road race in Italy, where he will ride in support of Chris Froome.
He added: "I spoke to the directors of the British team and said "Look, what are the chances of riding the worlds?' They said train as if you were going, so that gave me a really big motivation. I want to do a really good job for Chris Froome next week. That paid off with going well here."
Simon Yates, 21, completed an outstanding race for British riders by finishing third in the general classification and being named best young under-23 rider.
"It has been great," the 21-year-old, who won stage six, said. "I targeted the top ten before I came and it worked out perfectly. It couldn't have gone much better."