Bradley Wiggins road into British Olympic history by winning gold in the men's time trial to surpass Sir Steve Redgrave as Great Britain's greatest ever Olympian.
The 32 year old, who became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in July, finished 42 seconds ahead German Tony Martin and fellow countryman Chris Froome to claim Team GB's second gold of London 2012.
His first gold medal on the road caps a superb year for the Belgian-born Wiggins, who has thrust himself into British sporting folklore after becoming the first ever rider to win the tour and the Olympic road race in the same year.
"I can't put it into words that will do it justice, it's incredible," Wiggins said. "To win Olympic gold in your home city, in the velodrome or whatever would have been incredible, there's three or four thousand cheering you on but to do it round the streets of wherever we are is phenomenal.
"Just going through Kingston at the end there the noise was amazing and I don't think my sporting career will ever top that now, that is it. What a month it's been, I've won the Tour de France and the time trial in London at the Olympic Games, that's it now it's never going to get any better than that, it's phenomenal.
"This morning I kept seeing all these reports on the TV saying that [about reaching seven gold medals]. It had to be gold or nothing, I mean what's the point of having sevens medals if they're not the right colour but the main one is that it's No.4 so I've got to carry on to Rio now and go for No.5.
"But just to be mentioned in the same breath as people like Sir Steve Redgrave is an absolute honour, and Sir Chris Hoy and that and to be up there with those guys as a British Olympian, it's very special.
"I was trying to soak it in [the medal ceremony], because I have no memories of my last Olympics, I was either too young or it happened so quick but it doesn't get much better than the setting of wherever we are, that castle, it's so British. The sun came out eventually and it's just brilliant."
The yellow jersey winner began as the big favourite to make his seventh Olympic medal gold, after two dominant displays during the Tour de France's time trials along with six successive wins in distances over 10km.
The 44km flat course played into the hands of the 32 year old, and after going off as the penultimate rider, Wiggins led by 11 seconds from world time trial champion Tony Martin at the 18.4km checkpoint.
British teammate and runner-up of the Tour, Froome, set the pace at the 29.9km stage, with a lead of 45 seconds, until Martin and prologue winner Sylvain Chavanel came through the closing stages.
Despite Martin propelling himself into the lead at one stage, Wiggins had extended his advantage at 29.9km by 22 seconds as he looked to add to his individual and team track titles from Beijing.
Meanwhile, in the women's road race, Emma Pooley failed to go one better after her silver medal in Beijing, after finishing sixth in the time trial.
The 29 year old, who helped fellow time trial competitor Lizzie Armitstead, who finished tenth, to a silver medal in Sunday's road race, finish the first split seven seconds ahead of rivals, ended up finishing second with five riders still to finish.
And eventually defending champion Kristin Armstrong came through, bettering the time of Athens silver medalist Judith Arndt by 15 seconds, while Olga Zabelinskaya added a second bronze following her third place finish in the road race.
A devastated Pooley said: "You always have to push your hardest on a time trial and I did.
"I really don't think I could have gone any faster and all you can do in a time trial you can't affect anyone else so you ride your best. I'm pretty disappointed but if someone else is better then good on them and they deserve to win.
"I wouldn't say it was anything to do with the road race particularly I was really pleased to be able to help Lizzie win a medal and she fully deserved silver.
"I just wish we could have done the time trial around Box Hill. It was fantastic noise around here; I don't think I've ever had so many people watch a time trial."
Armitstead added: "The whole thing was just painful. It is something I need to improve on if I want to compete in it. I'm disappointed for Emma after all the work she put in and helped me in the road race."