When the new Team Sky announced in 2009 its intention to produce a Tour de France winner within five years, everybody laughed. Less than four years later, no one is laughing.
Bradley Wiggins enters cycling's most prestigious three-week race as the man to beat following an impressive season when he completed an unprecedented hat trick of victories.
No British racer has won the Tour de France. But Wiggins, a three-time Olympic champion in the Velodrome who raced the Tour as part of his training for the track, is in top form after becoming the first rider in history to win Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine in one season.
''Since I was 12, I always thought about winning the Tour, but never maybe thought that it would be a reality,'' said Wiggins ahead of Saturday's Tour prologue in Liege, Belgium.
Wiggins also will compete on home soil at the London Olympics. No other rider, including defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia, has enjoyed such a run of...