Edvald Boasson Hagen held on to claim his second Tour of Britain victory after a controversial final stage in central London.
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The Norwegian MTN-Qhubeka rider maintained his 13-second lead over Team Sky's Wouter Poels to finish top of the general classification in a total time of 34 hours 52 minutes and 52 seconds. Britain's Owain Doull finished third overall.
After a fallow season last year – having turned professional in 2006 – Hagen has returned to winning ways, but it remains to be seen whether this is a one-off victory or a catalyst for greater things.
“I’m in good shape for the world championship,” he said afterwards, agreeing that he had probably won the race at the moment when he escaped from the main group three kilometres from the stage finish in Nottingham, extending his lead on Poels from a single second to a more defendable 13.
The stage itself – the eighth of the race, a 14-lap, 86.8km route through the capital's streets – was won by Team Sky's Elia Viviani after a review.
Andre Griepel initially appeared to have taken victory in a sprint finish but was later ruled to have deviated from his line in an act of dangerous riding. Viviani was promoted to first.
MTN-Qhubeka's Edvald Boasson Hagen is on the verge of a second Tour of Britain title after Andre Greipel won the penultimate stage of the race on Saturday.
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Boasson Hagen, who won the 2009 Tour of Britain, secured a fifth place finish on the 227.1-kilometre seventh stage from Fakenham to Ipswich to consolidate his 13-second overall advantage.
Wouter Poels of Team Sky is the Norwegian's nearest rival ahead of Sunday's final stage in central London, which is expected to end in a sprint.
Boasson Hagen, 28, would become the first rider to win the Tour of Britain twice since it returned to the cycling calendar in 2004.
Lotto-Soudal's Greipel took the day's stage honours as the 33-year-old German won a sprint finish by a narrow margin from Team Sky's Elia Viviani.
Team Sky's Wout Poels won the Tour of Britain's fifth stage on Thursday, while former champion Edvald Boasson Hagen took the overall lead after the race's only summit finish.
MTN-Qhubeka's Boasson Hagen started the day in second place overall and he pushed Poels close on Hartside Fell, but the Dutch rider was able to hold off his advances and win the stage in four hours 12 minutes and 22 seconds.
Despite finishing two seconds behind Poels, Boasson Hagen's efforts were not in vain as the Norwegian took a one-second lead ahead of the Dutchman in the general classification.
Movistar's Juan Lobato, the previous leader, was unable to keep pace on the climb, finishing in 89th spot and falling to 41st overall.