Sky rider heads to the Worlds
The overriding feeling for Bradley Wiggins was that of relief after he crossed the finish line in London on Sunday to seal the 2013 Tour of Britain title.
The 2012 Tour de France winner became the second homegrown rider to win the race after he successfully defended a lead he established when he won stage three’s individual time in Knowsley.
The victory marked an important chapter in a relatively disappointing season for the British rider who abandoned the Giro d’Italia in May and then was ruled out of the Tour through injury.
“Until you cross the line you just don’t know. It’s all right to think it’s a bit of a ceremony round London, but it certainly isn’t,” Wiggins said the final stage, according to The Times.
“You cross the line, you’re pumped up. It’s relief that you’ve finished and fulfilled it for your team and your team-mates.
"The feeling at the moment is more just relief than anything else, to be honest. It’s a funny one, you want to win it and when you’ve crossed the line you feel relief more for your team-mates that you’ve fulfilled the job.”
The Tour of Britain celebrated its tenth anniversary this year with a demanding route that kicked off in Scotland and ventured into Wales before the final stage in London. On the back of Great Britain’s success in the last two Tours and the London Olympics, the British cycling scene has arguably never been in such rude health.
“Every day this whole race, even in the rain in Scotland and Carlisle and Kendal, people were coming out in tens of thousands, it felt like. The reception the race has had, the team have had and myself throughout the race has been overwhelming at times and nice to see,” Wiggins said.
“It’s been a big year for cycling. At the start of the year all the talk, worldwide, was of Lance Armstrong. Since that two-week period no one’s mentioned Lance for the rest of the year. It’s nice to come to a race like this when it’s just about the sport, people come out and watch it and they love it. I enjoy it more when it’s like that, to be honest.”
Wiggins will hope to carry his Tour of Britain form to the World Championships this week where he will compete on two fronts. He will take on Tony Martin (Germany) and Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) in Wednesday’s individual time trial before supporting Chris Froome's bid to win the men's elite road race on Sunday.