After finishing 23rd in the 2010 Tour de France, during his first effort in the race as part of Team Sky, it seemed far-fetched that Bradley Wiggins would kick off the 2012 race as 5/4 favourite.
Now in the form of his life though, and at peak fitness, Wiggins enjoys favouritism for the race which begins in Liege on Saturday.
Team Sky’s ambitious plans to win the race within five years were met with derision when announced three years ago, but in Wiggins, they seem to have the cyclist capable of delivering their dream.
In fact, the only man deemed a serious contender to Wiggins is Cadel Evans, who is afforded a 9/4 price to claim back-to-back titles.
Wiggins though, has demonstrated such incredible form heading into the race that it is difficult to see past him becoming the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France.
A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Wiggins would in fact become the first Briton to claim even a podium place should he triumph in this year’s race, but he insists he is under no additional pressure.
“I’m relishing it at the moment. It’s the result of being successful, having a fantastic year. We have been uncompromising about being in the best shape for July this year, so being favourite is a good thing,” he told the Guardian.
The 32-year-old has already landed a Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine treble this season, and the main concern as he heads into this race is that he has peaked too soon.
However, Wiggins feels as though his team have put in the ideal preparation to give him the best chance possible heading into the Tour de France.
He said, “From the information we’ve gleaned from the last few Tours the team have built a picture of what it takes to win the Tour, then we’ve trained for those demands. I’ve built into a position where I’m performing more consistently, winning races, and [that’s meant] I’m the favourite for the Tour.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.