Bradley Wiggins was left to reflect on becoming the first man to win the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year and reaching the peak of his cycling career.
After winning a fourth Olympic gold in a third different event with victory in the 44-kilometre time-trial at Hampton Court, just a few miles from where he grew up in Kilburn, the realisation hit Wiggins that no sporting achievement will surpass the last six weeks of his life.
The 32-year-old, who on July 22 became the Tour's first British winner, said: "There is almost slight melancholy. I realised on the podium that that's probably it for me. To go out there and put a performance like that together nine days after the Tour and win another Olympic title in another event, it is never, ever going to get any better than that. It's been an amazing six weeks."
An imperious performance saw Wiggins claim a seventh Olympic medal in all, surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave's British record haul.
Given five-time medallist Sir Chris Hoy is competing in two events in the velodrome, Wiggins' standard is now set to stand until Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Wiggins added: "To be mentioned in the same breath as people like Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy is an honour. Ultimately it's all about the gold medals once you've been Olympic champion. There was only one colour today. The most important statistic is number four [Olympic gold medals] for me and not number seven."
Wiggins could target a fifth in Rio, depending on the reaction of his wife Cath.
He added: "I could envisage, depending on what my wife thinks, going back to the track in the team pursuit where it all started and trying to win a fifth. But that's a long way off."
World champion Tony Martin of Germany was second, 42 seconds behind, with Wiggins' compatriot Chris Froome third. Froome joined Wiggins on the podium for the second time in less than two weeks after finishing second in the Tour.
The 27-year-old, who today was taking a day off before re-focusing on the Vuelta a Espana, said: "I really wasn't expecting to be in the medal table with so many good time-trialists here. I'm really happy with that."