The Tour de France favourite, Bradley Wiggins, has targeted a win in the prologue in Liège next week.
"I want to start the race with a bang, what a fantastic way to begin the race that would be," said the 32-year-old Team Sky rider. "That's partly why I'm not doing the British national championships this Sunday, I want to be in top condition for the Tour start."
Wiggins said he was "the bookies' favourite for the Tour, but it's a good position to be in, it may never happen again." He added: "[2011 champion] Cadel Evans has acted as the benchmark for how we want to win the Tour. He was giving his all day in, day out in the race last year and I've always seen that as an inspiration, how I'd like to do it."
The triple Olympic gold medallist sees the next six weeks, which include the Tour and the London Olympic time trial, as the defining period of his career.