Wiggins bullish about gold medal hopes ahead of mouthwatering time-trial
14:50 GMT, 31 July 2012
Bradley Wiggins hopes to carry his Tour de France-winning form into Wednesday's London 2012 time-trial as he seeks a fourth Olympic gold and a British record seventh Games medal.
The 32-year-old Londoner on July 22 became the first British winner of the Tour's yellow jersey, the victory owing much to his proficiency against the clock as he won the stage nine and stage 19 time-trials by significant margins.
Wiggins does not believe the Tour or Saturday's 250-kilometre road race, in which he worked tirelessly and fruitlessly in support of Mark Cavendish, will have an impact on his individual bid to overtake Sir Steve Redgrave as the British Olympian with the most medals.
Raring to go: Bradley Wiggins took part in a recce of the time-trial course on Tuesday
'The Tour is such a good boot camp for this,' said Wiggins ahead of the 44km test, where he will be seeking to become the first man to win the Tour and Olympic gold in the same year.
'This is going be a piece of p*** now compared to that. It's just an hour and not three weeks. It's been the best preparation. That's the baseline of worst-case scenario of pressure and expectation, with three weeks lying ahead of you. And we handled that pretty well, so an hour time-trial to make history should be a doddle.'
Wiggins, whose first assessment of the 44km Hampton Court route took place yesterday, believes his 53.5km stage 19 win in Chartres, which all-but confirmed his Tour triumph, was the best performance against the clock of his career.
Wait for me: Team GB rider Chris Froome warms up with Wiggins at Hampton Court
Focus: Wiggins is confident that he can finish on top and take gold
'The benchmark is there from Chartres,' he added. 'Nothing is going to change from that performance. I have 100 per cent faith in the training Tim (Kerrison, the Team Sky coach) has set me.
'I've done enough now to realise that it is not all suddenly going to collapse on Tuesday night and that I'm going to be a pile of s*** on Wednesday. My performances have been so consistent all year and I've no reason to think that is going to change.'
Wiggins enhanced his hold on the maillot jaune with victory on stage nine, a 41.5km race against the clock, by 35 seconds from Team Sky colleague and fellow Briton Chris Froome.
Froome was again second in Chartres, by a considerable margin of 1min 16secs, but should be in medal contention with Wiggins.
Defending Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and world champion Tony Martin of Germany had departed the Tour by that stage, but were handsomely beaten in Besancon earlier in the race.
Good luck, pal: A soldier takes a glance at Bradley Wiggins at Hampton Court
Cancellara crashed during the opening day's road race and will ride through the pain barrier, while Martin withdrew from the Tour with a wrist injury which he is still nursing. Wiggins, who was second to Martin in Copenhagen last September, is unconcerned about his rivals, though.
The three-time Olympic track champion said: 'The main thing is that I am on track and that is really all that matters. “I'll just go out there and do the performance – I have done so well all year in time-trials – and see if you are good enough on the day. I can't predict what they are going to do.'
Australia's Michael Rogers is another potential rival for Wiggins, while Taylor Phinney of the United States is also set to be in medal contention. The 22-year-old has pedigree. He is the son of Connie Carpenter-Phinney, who won road race gold in Los Angeles in 1984, and Davis Phinney, who won bronze in the equivalent men's event at the same Games.
Phinney, who has won world individual pursuit titles on the track, said: 'I am confident in my ability in the time-trial.'