Tour de France leader Bradley Wiggins may be 1-53 ahead of closest challenger Cadel Evans going into the high mountains, but he is taking nothing for granted.
“I don’t expect anyone at this stage in the race to go ‘yeah, Sky have won it’, ride to Paris, there’ll be a party, it’s gonna be great’,” he said.
“We expect this to be a s**tfight, and that is what we’re prepared for when we go out there.”
Wiggins is not treating defending champion and closest challenger Cadel Evans (BMC) lightly. “I don’t for one minute underestimate Cadel,” he said.
“I’ve got huge respect for him and I know what he’s capable of. He won last year, I expect him to fight inch of the way.”
Ten days into the race, Wiggins accepted the unexpectedly excellent position he and Team Sky find themselves in.
The British squad is three stage wins to the good, with him and Chris Froome sat first and third overall, separated by 2-07.
“We’re in the dream scenario at the moment… it’s something we maybe hoped to have, but never imagined,” he said, speaking at Team Sky’s rest day press conference, nestled in the Beaujolais wine-producing backwaters of Macon.
As for a reassessment regarding his and Chris Froome’s positions in the team, he said: “We’ve had a pretty relaxing day… everyone’s just getting over yesterday, we haven’t really got that far yet.”
Four years of experience
Reflecting on what’s taken him to this current pinnacle, Wiggins said “That’s just experience. Cadel has more Grand Tour experience than I do, but this is my fourth Tour de France going for GC.
“I’ve worked on the areas where perhaps I was a bit weak in the past. As I said yesterday, I’m only human, who knows what lies in store the next few weeks? But up to now, it’s been the dream scenario and we’ll take it day by day.”
However, any questions about the arrest of French rider Remy di Gregorio were off limits.
Speaking to the 50-odd press pack just before the start of the conference, Sky head of business operations Fran Millar said “We’re not going to answer questions about Cofidis. We’re here to talk about our own race… If someone does [ask one], I’m going to interrupt and ask somebody else.”