Britain's former Olympic champion brought the curtain down on a memorable career by beating the world hour record of Belgian legend Eddy Merckx
by ten metres at the Manchester Velodrome.
You can't make training as hard as a race, and I need to keep my competitive edge," said Boardman who, second with Germany's Jens Voigt in last weekend's Grand Prix Eddy Merckx
two-up time trial in Brussels behind Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and Viacheslav Ekimov, has been left out of the final round of Olympic warm-up stage races in Europe by his French team, Credit Agricole.
The American, riding for the US Postal team,claimed his fifth Tour title to join an elite group of cyclists containing legends Eddy Merckx
, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain who have achieved the feat.
Some of the sport's most famous names have secured victory in the race over its 106 years, with Eddy Merckx
the record holder after claiming a total of seven wins in the 1960s and '70s.
The climbs will be something different for the riders, a new challenge early in the season," said Eddy Merckx
, the Belgian champion who is one among top official in the organising committee said.
1998: Cascade Classic 2000: Bronze medal, time trial, Sydney Olympics, GP des Nations, GP Eddy Merckx
2001: Tour of Switzerland 2002: Criterium du Dauphine Libere, GP du Midi-Libre 2003: Criterium du Dauphine Libere 2009: Nevada City Classic BUT DON'T WORRY LANCE, YOU GET TO KEEP THIS ONE: 1994: Thrift Drug Classic STRIPPED: 1999 STRIPPED: 2000 STRIPPED: 2001 STRIPPED: 2002 STRIPPED: 2003 STRIPPED: 2004 STRIPPED: 2005
Now the 'Manx Missile' will seek to add to his phenomenal Tour haul - fifth behind Eddy Merckx
, who won 34 - and claim Britain's opening gold medal of London 2012 in the 250-kilometres road race on July 28.
Three titles in a row has been achieved by just four people in the event's history - Miguel Indurain, Eddy Merckx
, Jacques Anquetil and Louision Bobet - and Armstrong will deserve his place among cycling's legends if he joins them.
It was the year that the Texan, who had earlier fought off testicular cancer, won his fifth Tour de France to equal the record of former stars Eddy Merckx
, Jacques Anquetil,Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, who won five times in a row between 1991 and 1995.
American flags flew proudly throughout Paris as Armstrong joined Miguel Indurain, Eddy Merckx
, Jacques Anquetil and Louision Bobet in securing the yellow jersey in three consecutive seasons.
In The Frame: Lance Armstrong (pictured), Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx
, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain.
Cavendish won the equivalent classifications at the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and 2011 Tour de France and his feat at this year's Giro sees him join a group containing Uzbekistan's Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Italy's Alessandro Petacchi, France's Laurent Jalabert and Belgian legend Eddy Merckx