Andre Greipel finished off a superb 2010 Tour of Britain for HTC-Columbia by sprinting to his third stage win in London on Saturday whilst team-mate Michael Albasini celebrated overall victory.
In front of a large crowd, Greipel took the eighth and final stage ahead of Saxo Bank's Lucas Sebastian Haedo and Britain's Roger Hammond (Cervelo), with Sky's Greg Henderson fourth.
Of his victory Greipel said: "I'm really happy. The main goal was to defend the jersey. At the end with the yellow jersey on our shoulders we managed two more stage victories. I think this shows the strength of the team, even with four riders."
The Pope's visit meant that the final stage was located in the Olympic borough of Newham rather than Westminster and the 100km criterium finish meant that Albasini's overall victory was never in doubt.
A five-man break of Jeremy Hunt (Cervelo), Matt Brammeier (AN Post Sean Kelly), Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport-Specialized), Tom Barras (Team Raleigh) and Peter Williams (Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta) had a lead of 30 seconds going into the final two laps but work by HTC and Sky reeled in the attack.
After a perfect leadout from Mark Renshaw, Greipel's power was enough to overcome Haedo on the final straight.
Yellow jersey winner Albasini said of his victory "I feel perfect. I'm very happy about the victory. It's a really important victory for me and it's saved my season where I haven't won until now."
After his race winning on Constitution Hill, Swansea on Monday, Albasini was taken ill: "I lost a lot of power and didn't have energy in my body so I was really on the limit of going home. I'm really happy now to defend the jersey.
After HTC were reduced to just four riders, the Swiss paid tribute to his team mates "Without a team you can never win a stage race. They kept me in the race.
He added that "Team Sky were surely a bit more stressed than me. They have to win and it's always a bit difficult. They have much pressure and I know that from our team."
Team Sky's Greg Henderson won the points jersey ahead of Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) and in finishing third overall, the Kiwi was the team's top placed overall rider in their home Tour. Geraint Thomas placed 12th, Russell Downing 17th and triple Olympic track champion Bradley Wiggins back in 35th.
Endura's Rob Partridge finished as Britain's best placed rider in eighth, 2:32 behind Albasini.
Vacansoleil won the overall team competition to cap off a very successful Tour for the Dutch outfit. Slovenian rider Bozic finished second both overall and in the points race. Teammate Johnny Hoogerland took the King of the Mountains jersey and Michael Golas won the sprints competition.
Tour of Britain 2010, stage eight: Newham, London, 100km
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) HTC-Columbia
2. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank
3. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo
4. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky
5. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil at same time
Final overall classification
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Columbia
2. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil at 1-05
3. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky at 1-10
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank at 1-13
5. Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil
King of the mountains: Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil)
Prostate Cancer Charity points competition: Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
Sprints competition: Michal Golas (Vacansoleil)
Tour of Britain 2010: Related links
Tour of Britain 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
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