Sarah Storey insisted afterwards it was not meant to be a statement but it is hard to view in any other way. She became Britain's greatest modern Paralympian by not just winning her road race event, a fourth gold medal from four London events and 11th in all, but doing so by utterly destroying every one of her competitors.
The 34-year-old, who began her career as a teenage swimmer in Barcelona in 1992 before switching to the bike in 2008, took the women's C4-5 race in perhaps the most convincing manner seen at any event during London 2012, Olympic or Paralympic.
After 2km of the 64km race round the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent Storey stood up on the pedals and broke away from the field. And she kept on going away. By the time two 8km laps were completed she was more than two and a half minutes ahead of the other riders.
Even slowing down during the last few hundred metres to soak up the adulation of the crowd, Storey crossed the line 7min 22sec ahead of the silver medallist, Poland's Anna Harkowska. Britain's Crystal Lane was sixth.
It was a third humiliatingly conclusive silver for the unfortunate Pole, who was beaten by well over a minute in Wednesday's time trial and caught by Storey in the final of the track pursuit. Harkowska might almost feel glad in retrospect to have come fourth in the 500m track time trial, Storey's first London title.
Storey's 11-gold haul – five in swimming and six on the bike – matches that acquired on the athletics track by Tanni Grey-Thompson between 1992 and 2000 and the swimmer Dave Roberts from 2000 to 2008. Both these, however, have 16 medals in all, while Storey's trophy cabinet creaks under the combined weight of 22.
Another British swimmer, Mike Kenny, has 16 golds but won some in less competitive Games such as 1976, when only 32 nations took part.
Grey-Thompson tweeted her congratulations before passing them on personally when Storey spoke to BBC Radio 5, for whom Grey-Thompson is a Paralympics presenter.
"To equal Tanni is a huge honour," Storey said. "Her career was absolutely immense. She's an absolutely incredible girl and I can't wait to give her a big hug."
Equally welcome was the praise of her husband, Barney, who contributed a gold and silver as the sighted "pilot" for the British tandem rider Neil Fachie on the track. "He just said I was a legend," Storey said, beaming.
Such is the scale of Storey's achievements that it is justifiable to talk about her as one of the country's best athletes full stop. She regularly races able-bodied riders on a bike adapted for her partly formed left hand, finishing fifth in this year's British road race championships.
She very narrowly missed out on a place in the gold-winning Olympic women's team pursuit squad and has her sights on putting this right in Rio, when the event is likely to see four-person teams rather than three.
"If I'm good enough and I'm selected then absolutely," she said, promising to be in Rio either way, if possible: "I love doing what I do. I love training really hard. I just like winning bike races. The medals are the bonus at the end of them."
Storey arguably deserved two gold medals for the one race after not just leaving the women's field for dead but catching up and overtaking the men's C1-3 road race field, which set off two minutes earlier.
Storey denied she was making a point by showing such dominance, saying "suicide solo missions" were becoming something of a habit.
She said: "I just wanted to put in my very best performance today and give myself every chance of making sure I didn't make any mistakes, and that I finished off the job I set out to do at the beginning of week. I wanted to win every race and the outcome of that has been four gold medals."
Among the male riders she overtook were Britain's Shaun McKeown and Mark Colbourne, both of whom finished well outside the medals.
The only other home rider of the day, Jon-Allan Butterworth, abandoned his C4-5 road race in the morning after being dropped by the peloton, still heavily bandaged from a training fall caused by an errant British tandem team.
The 26-year-old Paralympics debutant, who won three silver medals on the track, said he hoped to work on his road racing technique. "Come Rio hopefully I'll be unstoppable," said Butterworth, a man not notably lacking in self-confidence.
He was even sanguine about Storey setting a time-trial mark on Wednesday some distance quicker than his: "One day I'll beat her. If she's in the top eight in the world for a men's time trial then eventually if I start beating her I'll be top four or five in the world."
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image: © Fighting Irish 1977