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Wiggins launches tour bid
Bradley Wiggins begins his bid to fulfil his ambition of winning the Tour de France on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Londoner is among the favourites to finish in Paris on July 22 with the yellow jersey and is set to be the last Team Sky rider to roll down the starting ramp for the opening 6.4-kilometre prologue in Liege.
The distance and time gains are minute in the context of the 3,497km race, but Wiggins fancies his chances and could become the fifth Briton to don the race leader's yellow jersey with victory.
Wiggins said: "In England, it's everyone's dream to play in the cup (the FA Cup final). This is my Wembley.
"Kids from Kilburn didn't become favourites for the Tour - you were either a postman, a milkman or worked in Ladbrokes. We're in a brilliant position and I think it's something to be celebrated.
"I can't get wait to get down the ramp and put together all these months of training and hard work."
With 100km of time-trials to come, Wiggins is anticipated to be defending champion Cadel Evans' main challenger following wins in the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races this year.
He is a three-time Olympic champion on the track and finished fourth in the 2009 Tour, equalling Robert Millar's 1984 British best.
But rather than add to the hype surrounding his chances to be the first Briton on the Tour podium, Wiggins will do his talking on the bike.
He added: "I know where I'm at. I can't account for where everyone else is at. What I have said is that I'm better than I've ever been. If that makes me one of the favourites then fantastic."