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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 06:16 GMT 07:16 UK
Wiggins on target for Tour glory
By Matt Majendie

Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins is in the midst of a month off competition in 2006
Bradley Wiggins believes he is in the form of his life and remains on target to pick up the Tour de France's prestigious yellow jersey in July.

The 25-year-old is among the favourites to win the Tour prologue on 1 July and lead cycling's blue-riband event.

He told BBC Sport: "The start to my season couldn't have gone any better.

"The difference between winning the yellow jersey and ending fifth will be minute but, as it stands, I'm a match for any of the top time triallers."

The Cofidis rider faces major competition in his bid to win the 7km Tour opener in Strasbourg from, among others, countryman David Millar, who will be competing in his first road race since serving his two-year drug ban.

Millar already has past experience of prologue success and donning the yellow jersey, which Wiggins confessed would be useful to learn from.

I will never go down the drugs route whatever the pressure or expectation
Bradley Wiggins
"Sadly I'll be one of Dave's rivals so I don't think he's going to be giving me loads of advice about how to beat him!" said Wiggins. "That said, we've chatted about the Tour opener.

"It's great for British cycling especially with the Tour starting in London next year. That'll give it all the hype needed - especially if we manage a Brit one-two in Strasbourg.

"It's unprecedented for British cycling and one can only hope it launches a fresh generation of world-class riders coming through the ranks."

While the Olympic champion - he won gold on the track in Athens - admits he is a strong candidate for early Tour glory, he has ruled out being the next Lance Armstrong or competing for overall honours in the race.

But in his Tour preparation so far this season, Wiggins has ridden Paris-Nice and Paris-Roubaix.

In the former - his season opener - he was seventh in the prologue and just five seconds off the pace, while he was comfortably in the top 50 of the notoriously tough Paris-Roubaix.

"I could have gone with the eventual winners at Paris-Roubaix," he added, "but I thought 'what's the point in taking the risk?' when it wasn't one of my season goals. I decided to save myself for the Tour."

WIGGINS 2006 SEASON
5-12 March: Paris-Nice (71st overall; seventh in prologue)
9 April: Paris-Roubaix (49th)
3-7 May: Four days of Dunkirk
12-14 May: Tour of Picardie
4-11 June: Dauphine Libere
1-23 July: Tour de France
He is now in the midst of a month off racing before his Tour build-up takes shape with the Four days of Dunkirk from 3 May followed by the Tour of Picardie and the Dauphine Libere.

Despite admitting the pressure mounting with the Tour de France being his "be all and end all" of his season, he insisted he would never turn to drugs in a sport that has repeatedly been overshadowed by doping.

He said: "I will never go down the drugs route whatever the pressure or expectation. I'll do what I can as a rider, no more.

"As for the pressure of winning the prologue, that's the sort of stuff I thrive on - it's no different to the Olympics.

"You feel more sick than you ever have in your life but then you achieve your goal and it's all worthwhile."

Away from the road, Wiggins still retains track goals, most notably defending his Olympic individual pursuit gold in Beijing and subsequently making it a hat-trick of golds on home soil in 2012.

"I've had that mapped up since I was 12," he revealed. "That may sound scary to some people but having it all laid out relaxes me.

"I know what I'm doing from now until 2012 - I'm not kidding. I can turn to my schedule and say, 'right, I'm doing that in January 2010'.

"It makes me sound like a control freak but it keeps me on course for the bigger picture and the ultimate prizes of my career."

That quest gets under way again in Dunkirk on 3 May.

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