Bradley Wiggins was overjoyed after becoming the first man to win the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year, but had a slight feeling of melancholy after achieving the best results of his sporting life.
The 32-year-old claimed his fourth Olympic gold and seventh medal in all, surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave with a British record haul of Games medals, after an imperious victory in the London 2012 time-trial.
Wiggins was the penultimate of 37 riders to take to the course and completed the 44-kilometre route in 50 minutes 39 seconds to triumph by 42 seconds, with fellow Briton Chris Froome third in 51mins 47secs.
World champion Tony Martin of Germany clocked 51:21 to claim silver.
Wiggins, who is from London, said: "It's been an amazing six weeks. This was the plan. I've answered all the questions in the last six weeks.
"We've done it. To win another Olympic title in another event, it's never, ever going to get any better than that. I realised on the podium, I don't think anything's going to top that. Winning the Tour and then winning Olympic gold in London."
Wiggins, who plans to have a few vodka tonics in celebration, added: "There was only one colour today and anything else would've been consolidation. The most important statistic is number four (Olympic gold medals) and not number seven (Olympic medals)."
Wiggins took the opportunity before the medal presentation to see his wife Cath and children, Ben and Isabella, and to acclaim the crowd by riding down the road back along the route.
He added: "I wanted to go and see my wife and all the people that had come to stand there on the roadside. We all know about the Olympic ticketing. The great thing about cycling is it's free to come and watch.
"All the real fans are out there (outside the ticketed areas), if you're not lucky enough to come in and get a ticket. It was nice to go back out and roll up and down."