LONDON // Bradley Wiggins is unbeaten in long time trials this season, and does not see any reason to believe things will be any different at the Olympics.
The cyclist became the first British rider to win the Tour de France earlier this month and is now relishing the prospect of winning a fourth Olympic gold medal in tomorrow's 44km race against the clock. He has three previous golds in track cycling and says "confidence is sky high".
Since pulling out of the 2011 Tour de France with a broken collarbone, Wiggins has been nearly invincible. This season, he achieved an unprecedented run of successes in some of the most prestigious stage races, with victories in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphine and his triumph on the Tour. His time trial abilities have been key to every victory.
"Confidence is sky high that we're going to be in the ballpark," the 32-year-old Londoner told a press conference.
The Olympic time trial course starts and finishes at Hampton Court Palace in south-west London. Mainly flat, it features some technical sections and looks tailor-made for Wiggins.
Like Miguel Indurain in the early 90s, Wiggins built his Tour success on his time trial abilities. After finishing second in the opening prologue, he defeated all his rivals in the first time trial before stamping his authority in the penultimate stage, a 53.5km race where he took more than one minute off the runner-up Chris Froome.
"The benchmark is there really from Saturday in Chartres [in the Tour de France]," Wiggins said. "So nothing is going to change from that performance to Wednesday."
Wiggins turned his back on the track after the 2008 Olympics to focus on road racing.
While improving his climbing abilities to be able to tackle big mountain passes, Wiggins kept intact his time trial natural talent.
Dave Brailsford, the British team director of performance, said Wiggins's final time trial in the Tour was the best he ever saw.
Although the British team failed to deliver ace sprinter Mark Cavendish to gold in the road race, Wiggins showed his gruelling efforts on the Tour had not taken their toll on him.
He spent most of the race in front of the peloton in support of Cavendish, taking long turns and stepping up the pace on every occasion.
"He's got such incredible form and he's in such good spirits. I think we'll get our gold medal there," Wiggins's teammate David Millar said.
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