Eurosport - Sat, 08 May 07:47:00 2010
Bradley Wiggins has played down suggestions he will be in contention for the maglia rosa at the Giro d'Italia but has insisted he will respect the race.
Wiggins, who will ride for the newly-formed British team Sky in the three-week race, claimed fourth place overall at the Tour de France in 2009 to raise hopes of a first ever victory for a British rider in a Grand Tour.
But the 30-year-old Londoner admits the Tour de France is his top priority for this season.
"Given the choice of which one you'd want to win, you'd put the Tour (de France) a bit higher but the Giro's a huge race," Wiggins told The Independent.
"I don't want to make the mistake of being at my best form and getting carried away in the Giro and then being knackered at the Tour. A lot of guys tried that last year, and fell short in July.
"I have to keep reminding myself that the Giro is like a mini-dress rehearsal for the Tour de France. I don't want to have a crack at the GC in the Giro but I may find myself in a position where I can do it.
"That first week will be full on, to try and get the leader's jersey as I would in the Tour. But then after eight or nine days, there'll come a point, like last year's Giro, where I'll just shut off and ease back.
"(However) if I'm in the pink (jersey) or close to it, then I won't do that, out of respect for the race."
The 93rd edition of race will start on foreign soil for only the ninth time in its 101-year history, with the opening three stages being held in the Netherlands and Wiggins will start the Giro three pounds heavier than his optimal weight.
"I've done that on purpose because that way I'll stay healthy, and it almost restricts me," Wiggins added.
"I found at last year's Tour that even a small amount of weight makes a huge difference.
"The Giro is a working environment, and that kind of workload is impossible to replicate at home. At the Giro, if you're tired you've still got to get up and get on."
Giro d’Italia: First stage - Saturday 2.30pm LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and on the Eurosport Player. Every subsequent stage LIVE on British Eurosport or British Eurosport 2 and on the Eurosport Player.