Wiggins going for gold
Sir Bradley Wiggins believes his time-trial form is better than when he won the London 2012 title as the four-time Olympic champion bids for Road World Championships glory in Florence.
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After completing victory in the Tour of Britain on Sunday in a result secured by a devastating time-trial display, the 33-year-old Londoner will on Wednesday ride for the rainbow jersey of world champion in the 58-kilometre course through Tuscany.
"I feel good, just focused and ready to go," Wiggins said.
"I know what I've got to do, I've just got to go out and put it together.
"I've probably done more specific work for this one than (the Olympics). I'm as prepared as I'll ever be for a time-trial."
Six times a world champion on the track - in events from the 4km individual pursuit and team pursuit to the Madison - Wiggins is bidding for his maiden road world title at the end of a year which has featured numerous disappointments.
"It would be fantastic, just to add it to the Olympic title would be up there with my best achievements," Wiggins said.
"It's a beautiful course. It'll be one of the best courses I've ridden. It's very straightforward.
"It's going to be tough for a lot of people but if you're in good shape, it's a great course."
To triumph Wiggins, who became Britain's first Tour de France champion and Olympic time-trial champion within 10 days in 2012, must finish ahead of one of the most competitive fields assembled for the race of truth - the rider against the clock.
Two-time defending champion Tony Martin of Germany, four-time world champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and the United States' Taylor Phinney are expected to be Wiggins' main challengers.
Briton Alex Dowsett, a time-trial stage winner at May's Giro d'Italia, is also capable of a high placing.
Cancellara is also targeting Sunday's road race, in which Wiggins will support 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome's bid for glory, despite the two Britons enduring a fractious relationship.
Wiggins is frank and focused when it comes to his time-trial rivals.
"I don't really care about them, if I'm honest," he said.
"It's not really one you can control. You don't know who is going to be up there, who's going to have recovered from Sunday's race (the trade team time-trial) and some people have good days that you don't expect.
"Ultimately it's about what you can do. That's why I love this race; you don't have to worry about anybody else.
"I don't really pay much attention to what everyone else is doing.
"You're so focused on the detail of your own ride and getting everything right, I never look at other people and think how they're going."
His rivals will be well advised to take the same approach with a revitalised Wiggins, who in this mood is extremely difficult to beat.
After abandoning May's Giro d'Italia through illness and missing the defence of his Tour de France title through injury as Froome won, Wiggins' desire has returned and so too has his form.
Wiggins compared the dual challenge of the Tour of Britain and World Championships to his Tour de France and Olympics double last year.
While not at quite the same level of prestige as the yellow jersey, winning the Tour of Britain's gold jersey has provided a further lift in morale.
British Cycling performance director Sir Dave Brailsford told Press Association Sport: "To win the Tour of Britain in London is a huge boost to him, great for the team and sets him up for the worlds.
"It will be down to who gets the best ride out on the day. But he's certainly in good shape."
The route in Tuscany is far removed from 16km through Knowsley Safari Park which saw Wiggins take the Tour of Britain lead and an advantage he defended until the conclusion in London.
But it provided an indication of Wiggins' form and re-found focus.
"Brad has shown he is definitely the favourite for the World Championship," said Dowsett, following the Knowsley ride.