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Skipping Giro leaves Bradley Wiggins feeling fresher ahead of Tour de France

Tour build-up continues with start of Criterium du Dauphiné tomorrow

Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins believes that his decision to avoid the Giro d’Italia this year means he’ll be much better prepared for the Tour de France, which starts in the Vendée four weeks today.

Last year, Wiggins, making his grand tour debut with Team Sky at the Giro following his close-season move from Garmin-Slipstream, won the opening time trial in Amsterdam to become the first man to wear the maglia rosa in the 2010 edition of the race.

However, he freely admits that his efforts in that race meant that hampered him in last year’s Tour de France. There had been high hopes among British fans that Wiggins might equal or improve his surprise fourth place finish from 2009, but he finished a very disappointing 24th overall.

“I realised that I may have overcooked it and had five weeks to sort of turn it around and get it right for July,” Wiggins said of his preparation for last year’s Tour.

“This year, I have no taken part in the Giro and I have focused exclusively on the Tour de France, riding a lot of races in France,” he added.

Those races include Paris-Nice, where Wiggins finished third overall. Last week he took part in Germany’s Bayern Rundfahrt, putting more than a second a kilometre into world champion Fabian Cancellara as he claimed the individual time trial stage.

“Beating Cancellara is a big satisfaction and it gives a lot of confidence,” said Wiggins, who had never previously won a time trial in which the Leopard Trek rider was also competing.

Wiggins will be looking to repeat his success against the clock in the Criterium du Dauphiné which starts tomorrow, and which opens with a Prologue in Saint Jean de Maurienne also targeted by Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas, and also features an individual time trial based around Grenoble.

The route of the latter is exactly the same as the one that will be used on the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour de France.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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