Bradley Wiggins cruised to victory in the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday as fellow Briton Mark Cavendish won the final stage around the US state’s city of Thousand Oaks.
Wiggins maintained his 30-second advantage over Australian Rohan Dennis by finishing safely in the peloton in the 122.4km eighth stage, with Lawson Craddock of the US finishing third, 1 minute, 48 seconds adrift.
The 2012 Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion posted a total time of 28:22:05 to add the most prestigious American race to his resume.
He took the general classification lead in the second stage, a time trial on Monday, and was never seriously challenged.
“It’s right up there,” Wiggins told the NBC Sports Network, when asked how highly he rated his victory.
“It’s always an honor to win the yellow jersey. I set my stool out to win the Tour of California and I’ve done that now. At 34, it’s nice to still be winning at this age,” the Briton said.
Wiggins also vowed that if he rides in the Tour de France in July, it will be in support of Sky Pro Cycling teammate Chris Froome, the event’s defending champion.
“Chris wants to win a second Tour and I think everyone’s behind that, including myself, and he’s defending champion and he’s earned the right to do that,” Wiggins said.
“[If] I am fortunate enough to be at the Tour it will be in support of Chris. I continue to stand by that,” the 34-year-old added.
Cavendish had to work hard to edge German John Degenkolb by a few centimeters in the sprint finish, with Slovakia’s Peter Sagan — the winner of Saturday’s seventh stage — placing third.
“I’m in the form of my life,” Cavendish said after winning the ultimate stage of the event.