End in sight for Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins is leaving nothing to chance as he bids to all-but confirm his place as the first British winner of the Tour de France.
Last Updated: 21/07/12 11:41am
Bradley Wiggins is leaving nothing to chance as he bids to all-but confirm his place as the first British winner of the Tour de France on Saturday.
The 32-year-old has a lead of 2 minutes and 5 seconds over Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome heading into the 53.5-kilometre stage 19 time trial from Bonneval to Chartres.
As Wiggins is viewed as a specialist against the clock it would take an unlikely turn of events for the triple Olympic champion to lose his grip on the yellow jersey ahead of Sunday's procession into Paris.
But Wiggins is not letting his preparation slip, opting out of media duties after Mark Cavendish's win on stage 18 and instead giving his body maximum time to recover for the time trial.
"That's why I came straight from the finish just now to warm down for a better performance. That's better than hanging around at the finish just to talk about the weather," he said.
"As soon as we finished the stage we started to concentrate on tomorrow (Saturday)."
Wiggins featured as part of the lead-out as team-mate Cavendish claimed a 22nd stage win of his Tour career and his second at this year's race.
Wiggins said: "He's been an incredible team-mate the last couple of weeks. It's nice to be able to pay him back.
"It's been hard every morning, thinking about the GC (general classification) and maybe sacrificing some sprint stages.
"Nine times out of 10 Cav finishes it off when you do something like that. And once again he showed, if there was any doubt, that he is the fastest man in the world."
Cavendish, who is set to be given another opportunity to win on the Champs Elysees on Sunday, has ridden much of the race in the service of Wiggins instead of enjoying the support of a full sprint train.
"It hasn't been the easiest thing, obviously," Cavendish said.
"It can make you hungry for sprints especially when you're used to winning five stages here every year. I'm part of the team, but I'm not doing what I can do as an individual rider.
"It's like Wayne Rooney playing in defence. You can still win a match, but you can't do your part of that to the best of your ability."