Boasson Hagen was dominant throughout the ride through Britain
Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen sealed overall victory in the Tour of Britain after Italian Barloworld rider Michele Merlo won the final stage in London.
The Team Columbia rider, who won four stages, came home in the peloton to win by 23 seconds from Australian Chris Sutton with German Martin Reimer third.
Russell Downing, who came sixth in the final sprint, was Britain's highest-placed finisher in fifth spot overall.
Fellow Brit Geraint Thomas finished one place further back in sixth.
Boasson Hagen's consistency also saw him take the points jersey as he claimed only his overall victory in a stage race.
"It's really good to win this race after all the hard work by the team," he said. "I'm really happy for me and for them.
"I didn't expect to win four stages and so it's been a fantastic week. It was amazing to win in the centre of London because there were huge crowds."
Belgian Thomas De Gendt, who announced himself as a star of the future with a leading role in many of the Tour's breakaways, won both the mountains and sprint competitions.
It's an emotional victory. It's in London, a big stage, big crowds and the first time I've ever been to London
With riders pursuing bonus seconds to move up the overall standings, the three intermediate sprints were all hotly contested.
Reimer took the first ahead of Sutton and Downing, Geoffroy Lequatre claimed the second while Boasson Hagen himself took the final sprint ahead of Sutton and Reimer.
The fast-moving peloton reeled in the final breakaway group on the run-in as they headed along Victoria Embankment.
Merlo hit the front with around 200m to go, the Italian going on to claim his first victory in his first year as a professional.
"After two second places this week I finally got one," he said. "It's an emotional victory. It's in London, a big stage, big crowds and the first time I've ever been to London.
"I've got a lot of trust in [Barloworld team-mates] Geraint [Thomas] and Chris [Froome], they did a great job and took me to the front. This win is for them and the whole team. Geraint has worked really hard for me all week.
"Barloworld are stopping at the end of the year, so I'm trying to find a new team and this win should help."
Stage eight result:
1 Michele Merlo (ITA/Barloworld) 1hr 56mins 55secs
2 Koldo Fernandez (SPA/Euskatel Euskadi) - same time
3 Chris Sutton (AUS/Garmin) - same
4 Pierpaolo De Negri (ITA/ISD-Neri) - same
5 Rob Hayles (GB/Team Halfords) - same
6 Russell Downing (GB/Candi-TV-Pinarello RT) - same
8 Peter Williams (GB/Candi TV-Pinarello RT) - same
9 Malcolm Elliott (GB/Candi TV-Pinarello RT) - same
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/Columbia-HTC) 28hrs 06mins 24secs
2 Chris Sutton (AUS/Garmin) at 23 secs
3 Martin Reimer (GER/Cervelo) at 25 secs
4 Kai Reus (Ned/Rabobank) at 26 secs
5 Russell Downing (GB/Candi TV- Pinarello RT) at 39 secs
6 Geraint Thomas (GB/Barloworld) at 43 secs
10 Kristian House (GB/Rapha Condor at 49 secs
16 Malcolm Elliott (GB/Candi TV-Pinarello RT) at 52 secs
17 Daniel Lloyd (GB/Cervelo Test Team at 52 secs