LONDON, Sept 22, 2013 (AFP) – Bradley Wiggins won his home Tour of Britain
on Sunday as compatriot Mark Cavendish took his third stage victory of this
Omega Pharma Quickstep sprint specialist Cavendish surged away from An Post
Chain Reaction’s Sam Bennett of Italy and Italian rider Elia Viviani of
Cannondale to take victory in the closing stages of a race that culminated in
Whitehall in central London.
Team Sky’s Wiggins, Britain’s 2012 Olympic and Tour de France champion,
finished in the chasing pack to secure overall victory and take the gold
Switzerland’s Martin Elmiger was second overall, the IAM Cycling rider 26
seconds adrift of Wiggins, with Simon Yates of the Great Britain Under-23 team
“The feeling at the moment is more just relief than anything else,” said
Wiggins, after his first stage-race triumph since the 2012 Tour de France.
“I said I wanted to win it. It is pressure for the whole week.
“Until you cross the line you just don’t know. It’s all right to think it’s
a bit of a ceremony round London, but it certainly isn’t.
“You cross the line, you’re pumped up. It’s relief that you’ve finished and
fulfilled it for your team and your team-mates.”
Wiggins, however, won’t have much time to savor this win with his thoughts
now turning to Wednesday’s Road World Championships time-trial in Italy
“It’s a bit like the Tour with the Olympics. Win the Tour one day, the next
day you’re thinking about the Olympics,” Wiggins explained.
Meanwhile Cavendish, who won the concluding stage of the Tour of Britain
for a third successive year, said: “It’s been incredible, to be able to win
the stage again in London.”
The Isle of Man rider thanked Alessandro Petacchi, a former rival turned
team-mate, for his support.
“His road sense is like something I’ve never seen before,” Cavendish said.
“He’s super smooth, super intelligent, super calm. He keeps me calm.
“I haven’t had this since I worked with (Mark) Renshaw and it’s exactly the
same with Alessandro.
“I don’t really have to do anything, I just follow a wheel that’s smooth as
silk and go with 200 meters to go.”
Leading results from the eighth and final
stage of the Tour of Britain, an 88km ride in London on Sunday:
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 1hr 47mins 23secs,
2. SamBennett (IRL) An Post-Chainreaction at same time,
3. Elia Viviani (ITA)Cannondale Pro Cycling s.t.,
4. Matteo Pelucchi (ITA) IAM Cycling s.t.,
5.Chris Opie (GBR) Team UK Youth s.t.,
6. Evaldas Siskevicius (LTH) s.t.,
7.Sacha Modolo (IYA) Bardiani Valvole-CSF s.t.,
8. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)Omega Pharma-Quick Step s.t.,
9. Enrique Sanz (ESP) Movistar Team s.t.,
10.Blaz Jarc (SLO) Team NetApp-Endura s.t.
Final overall standings
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Sky Procycling 29hrs 45mins 22secs,
2. MartinElmiger (SUI) IAM Cycling at 26sec,
3. Simon Yates (GBR) Great Britain at 1min03secs,
4. David Lopez Garcia (ESP) Sky Procycling at 1.08,
5. Jack Bauer(NZL) Garmin-Sharp at 1.13,
6. Sergio Pardilla Bellon (ESP) MTN-Qhubeka at1.16,
7. Ian Stannard (GBR) Sky Procycling at 1.34,
8. Sebastien Reichenbach(SUI) IAM Cycling at 1.42,
9. Michal Golas (POL) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at1.46,
10. Marcel Wyss (SUI) IAM Cycling at 1.57