Bradley Wiggins has won the tenth edition of the Tour of Britain, finishing safely in the bunch as Mark Cavendish won the final stage in the city of London.
Wiggins took the lead of the race on stage three with a convincing win in the individual time trial in Knowsley and defended it through five days of tough racing through Wales, Devon, Surrey and London. The final stage came and Wiggins just had to keep an eye on second placed Martin Elmiger of IAM cycling and finish safely to claim the overall lead. Elmiger took second place while Great Britain U23 Simon Yates took a superb third place on the podium.
Following the stage Wiggins spoke to ITV4
"My wife was my biggest supporter from day one really and it’s probably down to her more than anyone that I’m here today."
|Sir Bradley Wiggins|
“At the moment it’s just relief that the job’s done. It’s not over until you cross that line. I only had 26 seconds so a crash outside 3km to go. It was a pretty hectic finish – everyone wanted to win the last stage.
“From the minute you win the time trial you believe that you can with the GC but until the job’s done it’s never really over.
Wiggins revealed that the turning point of his rollercoaster 2013 season was not going to the Tour de France: “From that day on I got back to what I do best – training hard and having goals that I really want to win – and this is one of them.
“My wife was my biggest supporter from day one really and it’s probably down to her more than anyone that I’m here today.
“You can’t fail to hear the crowds – it’s a big like the Olympics really – every year the race finishes in London it’s fantastic and it was the same today.
Third place on the podium Simon Yates found himself at the centre of the media attention following a week of riding that has elevated the 21 year old’s stock exponentially:
“It’s been great – I targeted a top ten before we came and it worked out perfectly – I couldn’t have asked for much better really. (The crowds) were unreal. The noise all the way around was deafening.
“We flying to the worlds on Tuesday so we’re almost straight there and hoping for a good performance – we’ll soon see.
Yates went on to thank his Great Britain teammates: “They’ve been absolutely fantastic – I want to thank them all. All credit to them.”
Stage eight saw six riders go clear early on, Jack Bauer, Angel Madrazo, Peter Williams, Andreas Schillinger, Shane Archbold and Sergio Pardilla; Bauer and Pardilla vying for time bonuses on the general classification while Madrazo and Williams battled it out for the Yodel Direct sprint competition.
The breakaway stayed away for two of the intermediate sprints before the peloton mopped them up. A brief escape by British time trial champion Alex Dowsett followed on from the final intermediate sprint but it was shortlived, with the sprinters’ teams keen to take control.
And take control they did, with everyone vying to get onto Cavendish’s wheel in the final lap. Come the finish and the British road champion was given the perfect leadout by his teammate Alessandro Petacchi, coming into the final straight in second wheel before hitting the front and taking the stage unchallenged. Sam Bennett of An Post Chain Reaction came second ahead of Elia Viviani.
"I just wanted to win in this jersey representing the national champion of this country on the tenth anniversary of the Tour of Britain – it’s very, very special."
After the stage a delighted Cavendish spoke to ITV4:
“It’s really nice, especially the crowds. It’s incredible. Last time I was here it was big crowds but nowhere near today.
“I just wanted to win in this jersey representing the national champion of this country on the tenth anniversary of the Tour of Britain – it’s very, very special.
“I’ve got good form. I spoke to the directors of the British team and said ‘what are my chances of riding the worlds?’ and they said ‘train as if you’re going’ so that gave me motivation.
“I’d like to go and do a really good job for Chris Froome next week. It gave me a really big motivation to train hard last month and it finally paid off going well here.”
Angel Madrazo was awarded the Yodel Direct sprint jersey after Peter Williams was demoted after an illegal move in sprint two, the Movistar rider also collecting the KoM jersey. Great Britain’s Simon Yates took the young riders' jersey while Martin Elmiger just scraped the Chain Reaction points jersey.
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1:47:22
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
4 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
5 Chris Opie (GBr) Team UK Youth
6 Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Sojasun
7 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
9 Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-Endura
Final General Classification
1 Sir Bradley Wiggins Team Sky 29h 45'21"
2 Martin Elmiger IAM Cycling @ 26"
3 Simon Yates Great Britain Great Britain @ 1'03"
4 David Lopez Garcia Team Sky @ 1'08"
5 Jack Bauer Garmin Sharp @ 1'14"
6 Sergio Pardilla Bellon MTN Qhubeka @ 1'16"
7 Ian Stannard Team Sky @ 1'34"
8 Sebastien Riechenbach IAM Cycling @ 1'42"
9 Michal Golas Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 1'46
10 Marcel Wyss IAM Cycling @ 1'57"