Mark Cavendish took an extended break after the London Olympic Games but found form at the Tour of Denmark winning the final stage on Sunday.
Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) claimed the overall classification ahead of Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) and Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank).
Cavendish (Sky) won the finale near Copenhagen – where he celebrated his road world title last season – to mark his 12th victory of the season.
Sky took out the team classification with its GC hope Lars-Petter Nordhaug finishing 41 seconds off the pace in 10th overall behind teammate Michael Rogers, who was ninth and 38 seconds adrift. Nordhaugh held onto the leader’s jersey for two stages with Luke Rowe also leading the young rider’s competition for a stint.
“The team controlled the race the whole way,” Cavendish said after the 165km sixth stage in which he comfortably bested Matteo Pelucchi (Europcar) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol).
“The lads had great faith in me and delivered me to the line perfect. I’m really happy to get the win and repay their hard work, especially as I haven’t been in the best form recently. I won here in 2007 and it’s great to come back and win here again.”
Greipel won two consecutive stages with Nordhaug claiming line honours in the third, Olympic bronze medalist Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) the fourth and Westra the penultimate 14.5km time trial.
Cavendish was reportedly to speak with Sky boss David Brailsford about his future with the Sky team last week.
The 27-year-old will compete at the upcoming Tour of Britain and is set to start the world championships, although the course doesn’t suit him, to honour the rainbow jersey.
Tour of Denmark final general classification
1 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM 20:41:47
2 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:10
3 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank 0:00:14
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 0:00:24
5 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Europcar 0:00:25
6 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 0:00:27
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:31
8 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches – Onfone 0:00:35
9 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky 0:00:38
10 Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky 0:00:41