Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins admitted his landmark victory and the subsequent reaction was ‘phenomenal’.
Speaking after becoming the first British rider to win cycling’s biggest event and playing an integral part in the lead-out train which led Mark Cavendish to victory, the British Cycling member said: “It's hard to take in as it happens. Every lap of the Champs-Elysées was goosepimple 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.
“I don't actually know what to say that I haven't already said yesterday. It's brilliant. But I'm lost for words. It's a different feeling to 24 hours ago but we've come here and we were committed to what we were doing so there was no sense of, ‘Oh, this is it.' It was so hard once the race started and, right to the end, when I was leading out with a kilometre to go.
“Right now, at the base of the podium, I'm trying to soak it all in and it's hard to articulate what I'm feeling. It's a strange feeling, really – very strange.
“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.”
The 32-year-old Team Sky rider will now turn his attention to the Olympics. The three-time gold medalist is part of the road team hoping to help Mark Cavendish to success on Saturday 28 July before Wiggins will compete in the time-trial event the following Wednesday.
“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. So that's a higher priority than anything else. I
“t'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. This has been – as everyone's seen – such a team effort. Even today, it was an incredible group of guys. I've had the privilege to ride with them for the past three weeks; it's been an absolute honour.
“You imagine that you'd feel an enormous sense of relief but you get there and it's a very strange feeling. I remember watching Cadel win it last year and thinking, ‘God, that must be incredible!' But it happens to you and it doesn't feel as you imagine it to feel. It's a strange sensation. It's very surreal.”