Overall victory or defeat in the Dolomites at the Giro del Trentino will not be a measure of success for Bradley Wiggins or confirm or deny his form as the Giro d'Italia begins to looms on the horizon.
The Team Sky leader revealed to Gazzetta dello Sport that he has been taking antibiotics to treat a saddle sore problem. It has now been treated and Wiggins insisted it will not affect his performance during the four intense days of racing, despite "feeling a bit rough".
"My goal is to win the race but if that happens is another thing. I'd have a fantastic TV show if I could predict the future, but I can't unfortunately," Wiggins joked in the pre-race press conference in Lienz, Austria, which hosts Tuesday's morning road stage and an 14.1km afternoon team time trial.
"It's always difficult for me when there's no individual time trial. There's only so much you can do and there's an element of unpredictability with the summit finishes. You don’t know what anyone else will do either."
"It won't be for the want of trying. But you can't say a win is a success. I was fifth in Catalunya and that race was a huge success for me. It's depends on a lot of other things. We all want to win bike races in the same way we want to be able to moonwalk at a party. But it's not always possible."
Training in Mallorca
Wiggins has spent the last two weeks training in Mallorca, apparently opting to mix some precious family time with his riding. He said his form is good but the Giro del Trentino will also be about testing the strength of the Giro d'Italia squad.
"The training has gone really well in the last few weeks and all the stuff we've been doing, suggests that evidently, I'm ahead of where I was last year before the Tour de France," Wiggins said.
"I'm excited about what's to come at the Giro and here. It's more about the team we have here and putting in a strong display. Most of these guys are riding the Giro. This race is a mini dress rehearsal for the team time trial and the way we ride together. And the confidence we get from that."
Wiggins faces some serious competition at the Giro del Trentino. The official start list includes 2012 winner Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team), Ivan Basso (Cannondale), Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida), Fabio Duarte (Colombia), Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) and Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar).
"It's difficult to say who'll win," Wiggins said, continuing his philosophy of preferring to focusing on his own race rather than worrying about his rivals.
"A lot depends on (Tuesday's) morning stage and then the team time trial will set up the initial GC. Then there are the mountain stages. It's a bit like the Tour de Romandie or the Dauphine (before the Tour); you never know what other people's plans or intentions are. Last year Nibali was nowhere to be seen at the Dauphine and then was strong at the Tour. I can't count for what other people are going to do."