Bradley Wiggins' build-up to the Tour de France starts in earnest tomorrow when he leads Team Sky into the Dauphiné Libéré, an eight-day stage race that takes place in the Alps.
Wiggins is confident, having beaten Fabian Cancellara, generally regarded as the best man against the clock in the world, in a time trial in the recent Tour of Bavaria. Also riding for Sky over the next week will be Geraint Thomas, who won that race.
Wiggins sat out the recent Giro d'Italia in order to train in Tenerife to accustom his body to riding at altitude. With the pressure on him after his fourth in the 2009 Tour de France, he says he had an over-intensive preparation in 2010.
He said: "It's a world apart from where I was 12 months ago, finishing the last weekend of the Giro just exhausted, starting to get slightly ill and realising that I may have overcooked it."