Having claimed the overall win at the Tour of Britain in 2013, Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) is intent on going back-to-back in what is likely to be the last time he targets the overall classification at a stage race.
Wiggins won the overall at the Tour of California in May and then went on to win the British national time trial championships in June but announced this year would be the last that he exclusively targets the road.
He then changed his focus to racing for Great Britain on the velodrome at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow having announced that from 2015 his would be making a return to track racing.
It was at the Games that Wiggins found out his schedule for the remainder of the season with Team Sky telling the 34-year-old that he would be defending his Tour of Britain title. Wiggins' appearance at the eight-stage 2.HC event means that for the first time in ten-years he will not compete in a grand tour.
At the team presentation for the Tour of Britain in Liverpool, Wiggins was asked whether this year is likely to be his last as a GC leader.
"I think for GC, yeah," Wiggins said in response. "When I was at Tour of California this year I said I'd never do it again. It's quiet hard work leading a bike race.
"The plan this winter would be trying to put weight back on and changing to the track so I guess stage racing will be out the window after this year."
Despite confirming that he will be stepping away from GC duties, the 2012 Tour de France winner was clear in his goal of winning the race with a team "that looks strong on paper."
"Oh yeah, definitely," Wiggins said to response to whether he was at the race to challenge for the overall victory.
"I think especially with that time trial in London, that if I can just stay close with some of the GC guys here on the Tumble and not lose too much time in time bonuses and stuff like that [I'll be in contention]," Wiggins added.
The final day of the race features two stages in London, a morning 8.8km time trial which is followed by an 88.8km afternoon stage. Wiggins further explained that he expects the race to be decided in London and is hoping that he can seal victory in the race against the clock.
"It's only a short time trial but it’s also a fast time trial and I know that circuit quiet well," he said. "In an ideal scenario, I would be just a couple seconds off the jersey and hopefully take it there in the morning."
Regardless of how his title defence goes, Wiggins will line up for the time trial at the World Championships later this month in Spain.
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