The final day of the first Tour of Britain saw the race reach a noisy and thrilling climax on Sunday on the streets of Westminster, London in front of a spectator audience that was estimated at around 100,000 - all cheering and banging on the advertising boards in an effort to encourage Londoner Bradley Wiggins to shake off his pursuers with only three laps to go to clinch the stage win.
But the peloton were in no mood to grant favours to the triple medal winner in Athens and the chase was led by none other than Brett Lancaster, the Australian who was in the Team Pursuit squad that deprived Bradley and the British team of Olympic Gold in Athens. The gap was closing all the time and Wiggins was eventually swept up to set up a bunch finish which Italian Enrico Degano just took on the line.
While Degano took the final stage it was the Colombian Mauricio Ardila, with two stage wins in Sheffield and Newport, who was presented with the yellow jersey as overall winner. Ardila, small and wiry, was an excellent climber but was also more than capable of holding his own in the sprint finishes. In the final stage he merely had to keep out of trouble and he was quick to praise his Chocolade Jacques team for all their assistance in helping him achieve his first ever tour victory.
New Zealander Julian Dean simply could not make up the seventeen seconds required and he had to settle for second place overall and the Points Winner's jersey, while Belgian Nick Nuyens from Quick Step-Davitamon was placed third overall.
British riders worked hard throughout the race and this was reflected in the final results. National champion Roger Hammond finished in 12th spot, Charlie Wegelius was 16th, Tom Southam 20th and Russell Downing 30th.
1 Enrico Degano (Ita) Barloworld
2 Julian Dean (NZl) Credit Agricole
3 Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance