His win in the prologue of the Dauphiné Libéré has changed the status of Bradley Wiggins. In London, he was officially an 'ambassador for cycling', now he's even a serious favourite for July 7's Tour de France prologue. Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet spoke with the Cofidis rider on Sunday night, after the 4.2-kilometre run.
When Bradley Wiggins turned professional with Française des Jeux in 2002, he was already trademarked as a contender for prologues. "Everyone knew I had the potential for doing things like Bradley McGee did," he recalled. When he came to the end of his two-year contract with his second French team, Crédit Agricole, in 2005, he had the choice between a few different destinations but he had set his mind. "My priority is the team that will take me in the ideal situation for the prologue of the Tour de France in London." Cofidis was the one.
The French squad gave him the opportunity to have a first taste of the Tour de France last year but he wasn't happy with finishing 16th in the prologue in Strasbourg. "I didn't understand why I wasn't doing as well in the prologues as I could on the track for the individual pursuit," he explained. "Last winter my coach, Chris Boardman, told me I was wrong to prepare for the prologues exactly the same way I did for the pursuits. On the track, I can stay for four minutes between 195 and 198 pulses, but there are many more parameters to take into consideration for the prologues."
The improvement is obvious. Wiggins, who had never won a time trial as a professional despite being a successful track rider, finally took the benefits of his preparation by claiming the prologues at the Four Days of Dunkirk and the Dauphiné. "Before that, it was only drunk people in pubs in London who were telling me 'Brad, you can win the prologue of the Tour,' so it didn't count in my mind," the Englishman stated after taking the honours in Grenoble. "Now it's different. I can really target the top five but I'm not the only one able to win, there'll be David Millar, David Zabriskie, George Hincapie, and Fabian Cancellara also."
Read the full interview with Bradley Wiggins.