Bradley Wiggins hangs up his road bike at Tour of Britain

Olympic champion will close out career in London, Gent Six Days

Bradley Wiggins closed out his long and distinguished road career Sunday on the final day of the Tour of Britain.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist crossed the line of the London stage towards the rear of the bunch to finish 105th on GC.

Yet places and standings mattered little to the thousands of fans who simply turned up to catch a glimpse of the British sporting icon. This event was more of a procession for Wiggins – a national goodbye tour for a rider who had spent 18-months of his life dedicated to the track. His lean 2012 Tour de France-winning chassis may have put on a few pounds but the engine under the hood was still good enough to carry himself and the Wiggins entourage from Glasgow to London.

There are still Six Day events in London and Gent to come, but as he addressed the London crowds, he confirmed that his road bike would be consigned to the garage.

"As world champion now with Mark Cavendish we are going to finish off the season with the London Six Day and then – for those who are aware of it, the historic Belgian Six Day in Ghent in November. It keeps me occupied for the next few months or so. But that is certainly it for the road. And what a way to finish. Brilliant," Wiggins told ITV4.

The Tour of Britain may not rank up there with the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España but it is still a demanding race. This year's edition has been a frantic affair with riders coming into the event at all different levels of form. Many have eyes on the Worlds Championships next month, while Wiggins' game plan has revolved around survival.

"I'm happy just to be back in London to be honest because earlier in the week there were times when I thought it's going to be quite a challenge," he said.

"It's been a brutal edition of the race. Probably the hardest it's been for a few years, certainly. Plus the fact that we weren't the best-prepared coming off the back of the Olympics and all the celebrations afterwards. But I'm delighted to be here now."

If the story continues then Wiggins will retire at the Gent Six, an event of personal and emotional significance for the 36-year-old. It will be a fitting end.

"My Dad raced there as a professional so I was born there. My earliest memories are of that track as a kid. That was one of the reasons why I chose to end there."

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