With British hope Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans favoured to steal the limelight on the Tour de France, Italy's Vincenzo Nibali hopes to be among those keeping them honest throughout the gruelling three week race.
"I've always done well in the big tours I've entered and while I'm not going to say I can win the Tour, the podium is obviously an objective," the Liquigas team leader told a news conference on Thursday.
Nibali, 27, won the Spanish Vuelta in 2010 and has twice finished on the Giro d'Italia podium.
While he has slim Tour de France experience, the man from Messina believes he knows how to upset the leading pair.
"Everybody knows how I ride, I'm an aggressive rider and I have no intention to change," he said.
The three time trials will be crucial to the outcome of the Tour, the 99th in its illustrious but so often doping tarnished history.
Nibali advocates minimising the damage on those stages and impressing in the hills.
"In the time trials, I'm going to try to lose as little time as possible," he said.
"The mountains is where I can make a difference and not necessarily in the climbs."
Nibali is a skilled descent rider, a weakness of Wiggins.
During the Criterium du Dauphine, which Wiggins won earlier this month, the Briton was vulnerable on the descent of the Grand Colombier mountain pass, which again features on the Tour
"Le Grand Colombier is an interesting stage but there are many more in which we can take the favourites off their guard," Nibali said.
"I don't make any specific training for the descents, it's second nature to me but if the race circumstances permit, I will try to attack for sure."
While Wiggins won the biggest stage races in the early part of the season - Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Dauphine - Nibali noted the Tour was "a different race" and what occurred in the first half of the season counted for little.
"But Bradley showed last year in the Vuelta and in the past on the Tour how strong he is and he is the man to beat," he added.