The scene at the Tour rest day Sky press conference

Bradley Wiggins, Sky press conference, Pau rest day, Tour de France 2012

Over 20 TV cameras and maybe 150 journalists crowded into the grounds of the Hôtel Parc Beaumont for Team Sky's second rest day press conference in Pau this afternoon.

Bradley Wiggins demonstrated just how comfortable he now is in the role of race leader by looking somewhat unfamiliar without a yellow jersey on his shoulders.

In a white Team Sky T-shirt, he sat midway along a line of his team mates, and breezed through all the questions thrown at him. This time round it was us journalists who'd got the grilling after spending too long waiting in the sun. 

On the more serious topics, it was by and large the stuff we've heard all week: Wiggins was taking things one day at a time, his team mates were all stars and he was being very unsentimental about the job at hand.

Those legendary climbs they'd be going over tomorrow, stooped in history: "They're just roads that go up," he said.

Repeatedly Wiggins talked about ticking the boxes, as we in the audience ticked off a list of phrases frequently wheeled out in press conferences.

But we shouldn't take the Mickey too much. It is thanks to Sky's box ticking and meticulous approach to preparing for the Tour de France that a British rider happens to be in such a position.

Wiggins always takes us on an interesting diversion somewhere along the line though. This morning, he told us, he'd received a neckerchief accompanied by a video message from five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain. What did his former hero say to him say, someone questioned.

Dunno, replied Wiggins. "It was in Spanish."

Team Principal David Brailsford also spoke to the press at length, but only after dropping a disclaimer at the beginning about how absolutely shattered he was after getting lost during a morning spin over a couple of Pyrenean cols.

That considered, Brailsford dropped a cracker of a joke just a couple of minutes later ,warning "the closer we get [to the finish], the more risk we have of the c-word... complacency".

Much of Brailsford's spiel was along these lines, batting away questions that assumed Wiggins the win already, the team's leadership and - just hypothetically speaking, Dave - what sort of team they'd come back with next year should the race be more mountainous.

As far as the riders are concerned, tomorrow's stage will be quite mountainous enough as it is with the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresoude all on the agenda.

But for the rest of today they had a brief respite from the race and we left them to it. For just a few hours it was time to catch up with their families and friends and take their mind off the Tour altogether.

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Rest day review (July 17)

Defending Tour champ Evans has work to do in Pyrenees

Sprinters' teams unwilling to work on stage 15

Evans suffers multiple punctures after Tour tack attack

Froome not winning this year's Tour is 'very great sacrifice'

Frank Schleck criticises 'boring' Tour de France

Wiggins: Cycling's new boss?

Wiggins still Sky's main man as Tour heads towards Pyrenees

Millar's Tour win comes after 'second chance'

Froome explains his attack on La Toussuire

Nibali fails to crack Sky but pleased with Tour mountains performance

Roche ready to achieve career-long Tour top ten ambition

Wiggins: 'I'm not some s**t rider that's come from nowhere

Nibali hits out at Wiggins after Tour frustration

Cavendish enjoying new Tour role

Wiggins taking nothing for granted in 'dream scenario'

Sky keeping Tour focus on Wiggins

Di Gregorio arrested by police at Tour de France

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 provisional start list

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 15: Fedrigo wins, day off for peloton

Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank's Tour

Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage

Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last

Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials

CW's Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 15 by Graham Watson

Stage 14 by Graham Watson

Stage 13 by Graham Watson

Stage 12 by Graham Watson

Stage 11 by Graham Watson

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever

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