Bradley Wiggins expressed relief after ending his barren streak by winning the Tour of Britain.

The 2012 Tour de France and Olympic time-trial champion took a permanent hold on the leader's gold jersey as the first Team Sky rider to win its home tour as Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won today’s final stage in London.

Cavendish triumphed after a near-perfect leadout from Omega Pharma-QuickStep team-mate Alessandro Petacchi for his third win of the 2013 race and record 10th in all. Ireland’s Sam Bennett (An Post-Chain Reaction) was second, with Elia Viviani (Cannondale) third.

Dan Martin finished ten seconds behind the leading pack, meaning the Garmin Sharp rider finished 13th in the overall final placings of the Tour while Bennett, who won Stage 5 earlier in the week, finished 43rd overall.

Martin and Bennett will both be representing Ireland at the World Road Race Championships which start in Florence, Italy later in the week.

"The feeling at the moment is more just relief than anything else," said Wiggins, after his first stage-race triumph since the 2012 Tour de France.

"I said I wanted to win it. It is pressure for the whole week.

"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.

"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.

"From tomorrow morning my thoughts turn to the World Championships and this will probably be forgotten.

"It's a bit like the Tour with the Olympics. Win the Tour one day, the next day you're thinking about the Olympics."