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Bradley Wiggins has had a solid start to his Tour, even if he didn't achieve the prologue win he was chasing. He was lying sixth overall until stage five. Prior to the start of the stage he said that he is coming on a lot as a rider.

"I definitely feel a lot stronger this time," he said on Thursday morning. "Last year was a baptism of fire, really. This year I seem much more in control. I think that comes with a lot of confidence and morale from victories and good prologues.

"I think I have moved up a level in terms of my condition. I learned a lot from last year. That has made the difference this year. I definitely feel a lot better. I feel much more like I am part of the race now. I guess that comes from sitting sixth overall."

Wiggins placed 124th on stage six, losing 4'57 to winner Filippo Pozzato. He said prior to the start that he was hoping to ride aggressively.

"The race is going okay. The last few days have been a bit quiet, really, there has been nothing to do. The team have told me not to go in any breaks or anything because I am still up therein GC. But today will be a bit of a shitfight. They are saying it will be like Liège, even though it doesn't look like that on the profile.

"I think you will either lose time or gain time today, so I'd like to get in a move. If it starts to break up later I can stay with what is left of the peloton. I think it will be the hardest day so far in the race." SS

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