Bradley Wiggins pulled out of the Tour of Britain after the finish of stage four in Blackpool on Tuesday and rode the 50km home to Chorley to begin his final countdown to next week’s
time trial
world championships in Switzerland.

Wiggins helped Garmin-Slipstream team mate Chris Sutton in the hectic finish on the Blackpool promenade. He avoided the crash with 500 metres to go and finished 29th. After getting changed and putting some food in his pocket, he was back on the bike and already focused on beating big rival Fabian Cancellara in next Thursday’s time trial in Mendrisio (September 24).

“It’s just over a week to the world championships and I don’t want to take any risks. I’ve got to keep the bigger picture in perspective and save my mental energy for one last big effort,” Wiggins told Cycling Weekly.

“I’m riding well and when I’m like that I can’t resist riding hard and today I did 50km on the front. But I could end up going too hard and not have anything left for the world championships. The Tour of Britain is a hard race and you can’t take things for granted. We only just pulled them back in the finale.”

Wiggins will recover at home and do some final time trial training before flying out to Switzerland at the weekend.

“I’m doing everything right with my build up because I really do believe I can get a medal,” he told Cycling Weekly.

“I say a medal because I don’t want to say I can beat Fabian Cancellara. He’s the undoubted favourite.”

“But I do think I’ve got the better of other people like last year’s winner Bert Grabsch and of course even Fabian is beatable. Everybody is beatable and I’ll just try and do my best ride on the day. We’ll see what happens.”

“I’ve said all year that I want a medal because it’ll top off a great season for me. Of course I won’t say no to the win and the world title either…”

Wiggins and Chris Froome are set to ride the men’s time trial for Great Britain on Thursday. GB’s nine-man team for the road race (Sunday, September 27) will be selected on Friday.

Bradley Wiggins, Tour of Britain 2009

Bradley Wiggins has been overwhelmingly popular with fans at the 2009 Tour of Britain

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