Tour of Britain: Sir Bradley Wiggins completes overall victory while Mark Cavendish sprints home to claim third stage win

Wiggins becomes the second home winner of the Tour after Jonathan Tiernan-Locke triumphed in 2012

Yesterday Britain, now for the world. Compared to his last capital triumph yesterday was a relatively low-key London coronation for Bradley Wiggins – he described the emotion of winning this one as “relief” – but victory in the Tour of Britain will send him off to Florence today for this week’s world championship in his finest fettle since the glory days of 2012. The prospect of turning a turbulent 2013 from a footnote in the Wiggins biography to a garlanded chapter has become a live one.

It was the classic British one-two in yesterday’s final stage; Mark Cavendish first across the line to claim his third stage win of the eight days with Wiggins sitting pretty in the grinning Manxman’s wake – this is a man who just loves winning – to take the overall honour.

It is 13 months since Wiggins sprawled in an oversize throne outside Hampton Court Palace with an Olympic gold medal hanging around his neck. It was the defining image of his defining year. Yesterday he took permanent possession of the gold jersey that comes with winning his home Tour, his first success since. In the grand scheme of cycling things, the accompanying trophy is not a bauble that will take pride of place on the Wiggins mantelpiece nevertheless the manner in which he and his team have dominated the week has clearly done wonders for his state of mind.

“There was an element of going through the motions early in the season,” said Wiggins, who pulled out of the Giro d’Italia and then missed the Tour de France. “I came out this week with the commitment I showed last year. I crashed on day two and was straight up and unphased by it and I think that was a sign I was back to where I was last year. I will enjoy tonight with my family and tomorrow once I arrive in Italy it will be straight out on my bike, focus turns to the time trial. I love doing that, I'm good at doing it; Wednesday I race. I've been there before.”  

Yesterday’s 8.8km stage through central London – ticking off all the landmarks from the Tower of London to the Houses of Parliament and past Downing Street to finish beneath the hooves of Earl Haig’s horse on Whitehall – proved a suitably raucous finale to the most successful Tour of Britain yet, the 10th since it returned to the calendar in its current guise. They were hanging off the lampposts outside the Ministry of Defence to roar Cavendish home and he did not disappoint with his 10th stage win of the event. His Omega Pharma Quick-Step team have been just about immaculate in delivering their man to his jump-off point and did the same yesterday. Cavendish needed no second invitation. He too will head to Florence as part of a strong looking British team – Wiggins will be there as well after his time trial on Wednesday – supporting Chris Froome’s bid to win the world road race on Sunday.

“It was really, really nice,” said Cavendish of yesterday’s happy finale. “Seeing crowds like this… what has happened in British cycling in the last few years has been incredible.”

Wiggins held on to his 26-second lead but the last stage was not without its moments of alarm. As the tempo quickened around the 10th and final lap and the jostling to keep up with Cavendish and the speed men reached its height, Wiggins feared disaster.

“Cav’s the fastest man in the world, there’s one or two that can get near him, but there are some muppets in there as well,” he said. “I thought they were going to go down with 5km to go. Guys in 25th, 30th place, jostling like they were going for the win – if that had happened, there had been a split, lose 26 seconds and that would’ve been it. Until you cross the line you just don’t know.”

Wiggins described the support the race has received from day one in the Scottish Borders as “overwhelming.” Impressive crowds lined the route yesterday taking the final attendance for the eight-day race above one and a half million. It may be ranked in the third tier by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, but in terms of its attendance it stands comparison with all but the Tour de France. The race has established itself in the calendar, with its mix of trade teams, the best of young British talent – Simon Yates, who will ride in the under-23 event at the worlds, finished third overall – and the headline acts of Wiggins and Cavendish, as a key jumping-off point for the world championships. Wiggins for one will be hoping that proves the case.

The worlds began yesterday with the trade team time trials. Froome was part of a strong Team Sky line-up that took bronze. He will return to his Monaco home before coming to Italy on Friday for final preparations. Britain’s Katie Colclough was part of the Specialized-Lulelemon team which won the women’s event.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little