Wiggins hoping for pre-Tour boost
Bradley Wiggins is preparing to defend his title at the Criterium du Dauphine as he continues building up towards the Tour de France.
The Englishman was victorious 12 months ago in the prestigious race and leads an eight-man squad into this year's running, which starts in Grenoble on Sunday.
Joining Wiggins in the Team Sky colours for Criterium du Dauphine are Richie Porte, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Rogers - who have all tasted victory in 2012 to date - and also Chris Froome, Christian Knees, Danny Pate and Kanstantsin Siutsou.
The same 22 teams that will compete in the summer's Tour de France will be present, along with the likes of defending Tour champion Cadel Evans and runner-up Andy Schleck, and the course is similar to what they will experience next month.
Wiggins is hoping for a repeat win to give a real confidence boost going into the Tour and reckons all the hard work could pay dividends this summer.
"The biggest thing for me last year was never dwelling too much on the successes I had and instead always looking forward to the next target," he said.
"We've spent months looking towards this year and planning for it - and we've not been resting on any laurels."