Sir Bradley Wiggins couldn’t quite retain his Tour of Britain title but insists he gave a good account of himself in trying to defend it as he finished on the podium after a successful final day on the roads of London.
With two stages taking place on Sunday, Wiggins first set about doing the business in the time trial as the riders looked to record the fastest time over the 8.8km course.
And Wiggins, the Olympic road time trial champion, duly delivered as he went quickest to win stage 8a in a time of nine minutes and 50 seconds – eight seconds ahead of second place.
That pushed him up into third place overall, with the Netherlands’ Dylan van Baarle retaining the yellow jersey ahead of the final stage – ten laps of the same 8.8km course.
And, with no calamities occurring during the final stage, Van Baarle secured the overall win ahead of Poland’s Michal Kwiatowski and Wiggins, who had to admit this year’s Tour of Britain had been the hardest he had ridden.
“I’m pleased to have won the time trial in London. That was obviously the goal at the start of the week as well as the GC,” he said.
“It’s not a bad defence of the title. I’m just pleased to be back in London racing and winning.
“It’s been a really exciting race and it’s been changing every day. Who would have predicted this at the start of the week?
“I came in a bit short of race days. I certainly felt I was lacking a bit at the start of the week, but I have just got better every day.
“I feel like I have started to come into some good shape at the end of it. It has been probably the toughest Tour of Britain I have ridden.
“I’m feeling good ahead of the worlds. All my training has been towards that so it’s good to confirm my form with a win in a time trial, even though it was only a short one.”
Fellow Brit Alex Dowsett finished in eighth place overall after recording the eighth fastest time in the time trial, while Mark Cavendish was just beaten on the line by sprint rival Marcel Kittel on the final stage.
© Sportsbeat 2014