Bradley Wiggins on Sunday became the first British Tour de France champion as Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory on the final stage in Paris.
Wiggins completed his 13th day in the yellow jersey and the 99th Tour in first place, three minutes 21 seconds ahead of Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, who became the second Briton, after his team-mate, on the podium in the history of the race.
Not content with his personal success, Wiggins played an integral role as Cavendish won the 120-kilometre 20th stage from Rambouillet, sealing victory on the Champs-Elysees for a fourth consecutive year.
The realisation of his achievement, a lifelong goal, was beginning to sink in.
As he addressed a crowd filled with Britons by the Champs-Elysees, Wiggins said: "We're just going to draw the raffle numbers now.
"Thanks for the amazing support the last three weeks. I really appreciate it.
"It's been a magical couple of weeks. Some dreams do come true.
"My old mother over there, her son's just won the Tour de France.
"Thank you everyone. Cheers. Have a safe journey home and don't get too drunk."
Wiggins added: "It's hard to take in as it happens. Every lap of the Champs-Elysees was goose-pimple stuff.
"We had a job to do with Mark today and we were all motivated to do that so it made it go a lot quicker.
"The concentration was high and for Mark to finish it off like that, well, it couldn't get any better."
Wiggins sealed victory with his win in the penultimate day time-trial, but was determined to cap the success by extending Cavendish's 100% record in the French capital.
Britons flocked to Paris to witness an historic moment, but Wiggins and Cavendish will return to the UK on Sunday evening to prepare for the Olympics, with the Manxman seeking road race victory on Saturday's opening day of London 2012.
Wiggins, whose Olympic priority is the August 1 time-trial, added: "Now we've come out of our bubble and now we start to realise what it means to all these people who have come over here for the weekend.
"That turn (near the Arc de Triomphe) was just a sea of Brits and the noise was incredible.
"It was close to what it was like at the Olympics in Athens when I was coming into the home straight. It's that kind of feeling. It's phenomenal. You couldn't fail to hear it.
"Tonight I go home. Everything turns to the Olympics and I'll be out on the bike tomorrow and I've got an Olympic time-trial to try and win.
"It's a little weird to leave Paris without a party because it would be nice to spend time with the team and really enjoy it."
Cavendish's triumph was the seventh British stage success of the 2012 Tour, with the Manxman finishing with three wins, Wiggins two, Froome one and David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) one.
All four Britons, together with Ian Stannard, are due to combine on Saturday in a bid to help Cavendish win Olympic gold on The Mall at the end of the 250km road race.
Cavendish has won on the French capital's most famous boulevard in each of the Tours he has completed - in 2009, 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.
The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man, who also won stages two and 18, now has 23 Tour stage wins, moving above Lance Armstrong and Andre Darrigade into fourth place in the all-time list.
Cavendish spent much of the Tour in the service of Wiggins, who repaid the favour, taking to the front with 1.1km remaining, with Edvald Boasson Hagen assuming the lead 600 metres out.
Cavendish then accelerated off the front 400 metres from the line and powered to a supreme victory to become the first world champion to win on the Champs-Elysees.
Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) was second, with Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) third.
Cavendish said: "It's incredible. For me this race is everything, it's what my whole year's built towards every year.
"It's a very successful Tour for Team Sky. Maybe there would've been more opportunities for sprints, but we won six stages.
"We've raised the profile of British cycling and it's been an incredible thing to be a part of.
"Today, winning on the Champs-Elysees, was a big red cherry on top of a beautifully made cake for three weeks and it was an honour to be part of it.
"Winning here on the most beautiful avenue in the world - it's such a special moment. I'll be back again to try to make it five next year."
Cavendish's triumph confirmed he will be among the favourites for Olympic gold.
Cavendish added: "I was going to go at 300 (metres to go) but we came around the last corner at such speed that I thought I'd just use my acceleration now and hopefully distance the other guys and hold on.
"It was a gamble, but it was one that paid off.
"I've had good form since the Giro d'Italia. Everything's on target since then, it still is. I'm looking forward to next Saturday now."
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what do you think?
He deserves a knighthood. One of the greatest ever sporting achievements by a Briton.