Tour of Britain: Bradley Wiggins seals overall victory as Mark Cavendish wins stage eight
Bradley Wiggins completed overall victory at the Tour of Britain as Mark Cavendish won stage eight.
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 22/09/13 8:02pm
Wiggins crossed the line safely in the peloton after ten high-speed laps of an 8.8km circuit in the centre of the capital to seal a maiden triumph at his home tour.
Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) claimed his tenth Tour of Britain stage win and third of this year's race with a dominant display on Whitehall, beating Ireland's Sam Bennett (An Post - Chainreaction) into second and Italy's Elia Viviani (Cannondale) into third.
Simon Yates, 21, rounded off an outstanding race for the host nation by consolidating third place in the general classification, 1min 3sec behind Wiggins (Team Sky), who won overall by 26 seconds from runner-up Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling).
The three Britons' successes gave a fairytale ending to a race that produced eight pulsating days of racing and attracted thousands of fans across Scotland, England and Wales.
Having taken the lead on stage three and defended it on the next four stages, Wiggins only needed to avoid crashing or being distanced by the peloton in his home city to complete his biggest victory of the season so far.
After a frantic start to stage eight, six riders broke away from the pack and with the top two riders in the intermediate sprints competition both in there - Angel Madrazo (Movistar) and Pete Williams (IG Sigma Sport) - a dramatic narrative unfolded.
Madrazo had led his British rival by five points at the start of the day, but after Williams got the better of him in the first two sprints, his advantage was down to one point going into the third and final sprint.
Madrazo doubles up
Williams claimed two points to seal overall victory by a solitary point, but later had those removed after the race commissaires penalised him for earlier pushing Madrazo, handing the Spaniard the sprints jersey to go with the King of the Mountains jersey he had already secured.
The last of the breakaway riders were caught with 25km to go and although Alex Dowsett (Movistar) later launched a lone attack 16.5km out, he was unable to stay clear on his own and was caught 10km from home.
That set up a hectic battle for position between the sprint teams, but Omega Pharma - Quick-Step used their experience and strength in numbers to deliver Cavendish to the final straight at the head of the race and the 28-year-old Manxman proved unbeatable in front of his home fans.
As well as third place overall, Yates was also named best under-23 rider, while Elmiger won the points classification.
Stage eight result
1 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 1:47:22
2 Sam Bennnett (Ire) An Post - Chainreaction, same time
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale, st
4 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling, st
5 Chris Opie (GB) UK Youth, st
6 Evaldas Siskevicius (Lit) Sojasun, st
7 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, st
8 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
9 Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar, st
10 Blaz Jarc (Slo) NetApp-Endura, st
1 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, 29:45:21
2 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling, +26secs
3 Simon Yates (GB) Great Britain, +1:03
4 David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky, +1:08
5 Jack Bauer (NZ) Garmin-Sharp, +1:14
6 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka, +1:16
7 Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky, +1:34
8 Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling, +1:42
9 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +1:46
10 Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling, +1:57
- Blue and white jersey (points classification): Martin Elmiger (Swe) IAM Cycling
- Green polka dot jersey (mountains classification): Angel Madrazo (Movistar)
- Green and red jersey (intermediate sprints competition): Angel Madrazo (Movistar)