The Sky rider is aiming to become the first person to defend the title in the modern incarnation of the race.

Bradley Wiggins believes his form going into this year’s Tour of Britain beats that of 12 months ago, when he dominated the event and took the overall win.

Wiggins spearheads a strong Sky squad in the national tour, and is looking to become the first ever rider to successfully defend their title in the modern incarnation of the race.

“I haven’t raced a lot, but I’ve been training intensively since the Commonwealth Games,” said Wiggins.

“I knew there that I would be doing the Tour of Britain, so all the preparation has been for this, and the 10-day gap to the world championships time trial. Whether I win or not is another thing, but I feel in a better place.

“I’m definitely looking to win, especially with that big time trial in London. If I can just stay close to some of the big GC guys and not lose too much time in bonuses, the ideal situation is to be a couple of seconds back and hopefully take it there.

“It’s a short time trial, but it’s a fast one too. I know that circuit well.”

Whereas before last year’s race, the 34-year-old Sky rider recced some of the stages in advance, this year he is hoping that his experience will help him wear the yellow jersey in London on Sunday week.

“I’ve done it a few times,” he said of The Tumble climb near Abergavenny, upon which the likely crucial stage three finishes. “I did it years ago in the PruTour, in the Nationals and a couple of times in training.

“ I also know Ditchling Beacon and a lot of those climbs [on stage seven into Brighton] from my childhood, so I’m not too worried about those.”

And while Wiggins is known for going back on things he has said previously, his charge at this race could be his last serious GC attempt, as his focus for 2015 turns to the Rio Olympics.

“When I was at the Tour of California this year I said I’d never do it [go for an overall race win] again,” he said. “It’s quite hard work leading a bike race.

“The plan this winter is to put weight on, change into the track, and the GC will be out of the window.”