Sir Bradley Wiggins admitted an overwhelming relief after winning the Tour of Britain for the first time in central London.
The Team Sky rider could have been forgiven for trying to enjoy the final day of the race and soak up the atmosphere but was mindful to avoid a crash and cross the line in one piece for his team.
Wiggins had effectively secured the winner’s gold jersey over the two previous days and formally clinched the victory after the 88km ten lap stage around central London.
Wiggins, who won the time trial on stage three, eventually finished 26 seconds clear of Swiss rider Martin Elmiger while fellow British rider Simon Yates completed the podium.
“The feeling at moment is more relief than anything else,” said Wiggins.
“It’s a funny one really, when you cross the line you feel relief for your teammates.
“With 5k to go I thought some of the guys were going down in a crash. There are a few muppets out there and if that would have happened there would have been a split and I could have lost the 26 seconds.
“Until you cross the line you just don’t know. You say it can be a bit of a ceremony but that’s not the case."
The race was the tenth edition of the Tour of Britain and Wiggins was delighted to cap a difficult stage race season off with a win on home soil.
The 2012 Tour de France winner has struggled for form this year and seen his position as Team Sky’s number one rider usurped by Chris Froome.
Wiggins will finish off his season next week in Italy at the UCI Road World Championships and will ride for Froome next Sunday in the road race, after competing in Wednesday’s time trial.
He insists he’s going to Florence in good form and hopes to be able to take the win in the time trial, to follow his success in the event at last year's Olympics, before repeating the British success of 2011, when Mark Cavendish clinched the famous rainbow jersey in Copenhagen.
“My thoughts turn straight to the World Championships and this will be forgotten,” added Wiggins.
“Once I arrive in Italy it’s straight out on the bike and focus turns to the time trial.
“It’s in the depths of winter that you reflect and it starts to sink in that you’ve won your home tour in London in front of everybody.
“I’ve got a job to do Wednesday and then attention turns to Sunday and the road race.
“I rode the Worlds last year but was just making up the numbers so it’s nice to come into this year in good form and hopefully I can do a job like two years ago when Cav won.
“Chris is obviously looking to win that, he’s the leader. He’s the Tour de France winner – he’s got a good chance.”
© Sportsbeat 2013