WIGGINS TESTED TOUR FORM IN LOCAL 10
Bradley Wiggins has revealed he rode the first part of a local ten-mile time trial on Tuesday as the final test of his form before Saturday’s Tour de France prologue in London.
Speaking in his final press conference in the Excel media centre on Thursday, Wiggins admitted he has tried to stay as calm and relaxed as possible in the build-up to the Tour, even riding with his local chain gang.
“On Tuesday I did the first half of a local ten on the Rainford course as a test for the Tour de France prologue. It was a semi-race situation with a number on my back and I went pretty well. According to times I was on for a ten-mile time of 17-30. The record is 17-58 and so that is a good indication of my form. Chris Boardman used to hold the course record with a 19-09 but I broke that last year setting 18-53.”
Determined to stay focused and mentally in control, Wiggins refused to talk about the emotions of winning the prologue. However he was confident he had done everything possible to perform at his best.
“After the Dauphine Libere I had five days before the Eindhoven time trial. I was pretty tired but recovered well and had a good day in the team time trial. Since then I’ve just been trying to make the most of my time at home. I’ve been riding my bike but I’ve been trying to enjoy it. That’s why I did the local chain gang and then the time trial test on Tuesday. In the last few days I’ve concentrate on my time trial drills and making adjustment to my bike and kit.”
“I’ve learnt a lot from the mistakes I made last year. I’ve simplified things and trying not too think about it all too much. The prologue is pretty simple: It’s eight kilometres, that’s nine minutes flat out. If you get a result it takes off from there but I’m not making it all too big in my head. I over complicated things last year just as I did in the Olympics. Now I’ve got a bit of experience and things in life that puts it all into perspective. The riding and the rolling down the start ramp is the easy bit, it’s what I’ve trained to do.”
Wiggins revealed that he and his Cofidis team got abuse about doping from ‘white van drivers’ while out training in Essex on Thursday. However he again reiterated his belief in racing clean.
“When we were out training we got God knows how many white van drivers shouting at us saying we were doped and that they didn’t want the Tour de France here. It was quite bad but that’s the level it’s come to.”
“For me it’s about being honest about what I believe in. I know I’m clean and I’m proud of that. If I can win like that, great. If not, I’m not good enough. The UCI have made big steps forward with the letter they got the riders to sign and if we make steps like that it’s the right direction. For me what happened last year was a clear warning sign that things have to change.”
Wiggins listed Fabian Cancellara (CSC), George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) and David Millar (Saunier Duval) as his biggest rivals for the prologue, suggesting that the long straights on the course perhaps did not suit sprinters like Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole).
Wiggins will now not speak to media before Saturday’s prologue. The next time he does, he will be talking about what it feels like to wear the yellow jersey in London or explaining how he missed out on the biggest win of his life.