Bradley Wiggins celebrates his overall win in the Criterium du Dauphine
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Team Sky man not feeling the pressure of favouritism
Team Sky‘s Bradley Wiggins was in a relaxed mood when Cyclingnews caught up with him yesterday at his training base for the crucial final few days before the 2012 Tour de France. The 32-year-old is currently on the Spanish island of Mallorca with his family as he puts the finishing touches to a training regime that, 12 months in the making, is wholly dedicated to performing up to standard at cycling’s most famous race.
That standard has risen in recent months. Wiggins has enjoyed an unprecedented run of success in 2012 thus far, becoming the first man to win Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine in the same season. That form has catapulted Wiggins to the top of the oddsmakers’ lists for the Tour de France, which starts on June 30, where he will attempt to end a 109-year drought for British riders and thus become the first Briton to win the event.
Wiggins insisted, however, that the tag of favourite isn’t a burden – it’s simply shows how well he and and his team have been performing over the last few months.
“I’m not really feeling any pressure,” he said. “I’m in this position now because I’ve done well and that’s a nice thing to be able to say. I remember going into the 2010 Tour answering all the usual questions and knowing that I wasn’t in any sort of form – that’s a different type of pressure.
“I now realise what it takes to compete and to train hard week in, week out. I also have the maturity to be able to lead races and not have it take so much out of you that you need two months off after a big success. The confidence from winning those races has also helped build the momentum.
“But the plan has always been to be good in July. It was never a plan to peak for those races, form-wise, but we won them and we
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