Mark Cavendish praised the efforts of his team after clinching his second win of this year's Tour of Britain with a trademark sprint finish in Guildford.
Sir Bradley Wiggins rolled home after the seventh stage in the main group, all but securing the gold jersey for the overall race win before Sunday's concluding day around the streets of central London.
Cavendish began his sprint earlier than usual but held on thanks to a second burst to edge out stage two winner Gerald Ciolek on the cobbled uphill finish.
It was Cavendish’s second win in Guildford after winning at the same stage 12 months ago and he’ll be favourite to add to his record nine Tour of Britain victories in London.
“I was so lucky to hold on. The guys did a brilliant job and I’m really happy," said Cavendish.
“I remember going just before the cobbles last year and it was the best thing to do after watching last year’s finish.
“The guys worked so hard, Alessandro [Petacchi] was going so fast I had to shout ‘woah’ before the last corner.
“The second kick is something I’ve talked about because of my track background. I can do that second kick but it just takes a lot out of me so hopefully I’ll recover for tomorrow.”
Race leader Wiggins was pleased to avoid any disasters and admitted tomorrow’s ride through London was something he’d been looking forward to since the start of the tour.
It’s been a good week for the Team Sky rider, who has publicly declared his desire to win the Tour of Britain for some time.
“I think every year it’s getting better, you only have to look at the stage finishes now. The team put on a great race and I think it’ll only get bigger," he said.
“It was quite a hairy run in today. I wanted to avoid crashing whilst at the same time trying to stay near the front.
“I’ve been thinking about riding in London since the start of the tour. My mum just lives round the corner now in Pimlico so it’s about as local to home now as it can be.
“All week the crowds have been phenomenal and I expect tomorrow could be on a par with the Olympics.”
© Sportsbeat 2013