Confident Wiggins has support to win Tour de France
There were no surprises in the nine-man squad named by Team Sky for the Tour de France.
Team leader Bradley Wiggins is in the form of his life and he will have fellow Brit Chris Froome helping him in the mountains. Froome was amazing at the Vuelta a Espana last year when he finished second and he is coming back into that sort of form.
Michael Rogers and Richie Porte are the other main guys for the climbs while Kanstantsin Siutsou is an amazing domestique who will ride all day, carrying bottles and food.
Mark Cavendish is going to want some sort of help in trying to defend the green jersey. Edvald Boasson Hagen will probably ride to look after him at the finish and Bernie Eisel will be with him for the entire three weeks. But I can't see the team committing fully.
Rogers has been involved in lead-outs with HTC so he can lend a hand if need be but then it gets tricky to give him another man and sacrifice one for Brad. I'm just glad I'm not team management to be honest.
However, if the guys are riding for Cav, especially during the very stressful first week, it'll be good for Brad too as it means he will be kept at the front of the race, out of trouble.
Cav will have to use his head and use other lead-outs because he's not going to have the same support as sprint rivals Andre Greipel, Matt Goss or Marcel Kittel, although Sky will still be expected to lend a hand in the chase to make sure it's a bunch sprint on the flat days.
It's hard on riders who have missed out like Danny Pate because he has ridden strongly this season, especially in the Paris-Nice. I roomed with him in Australia and got to know him quite well, so I feel for him but it's been a difficult choice because there are a lot of strong riders.
The actual win looks like it is going to be between Brad and last year's winner Cadel Evans but with a three-week race a hell of a lot can happen. Last year Brad was in great shape and he crashed out.
Bradley Wiggins is on the hunt for the Tour de France yellow jersey. Photo: Getty
He's definitely grown into the team leadership role though. The first year the team formed it was tough for him going to races as team leader with the press talking about him going for the Tour win.
This year, whether he's just got better or worked on it, he's grown in confidence. Winning the Dauphine last year and then going to the Vuelta a Espana and finishing third, so soon after breaking his collarbone in the Tour de France, gave him a lot of confidence and the more confident he gets, the better he rides.
He also has such a strong team around him. In the Dauphine it was unbelievable how the team rode. That makes it a lot easier for him too.
There is definitely a perception that the peloton see Sky as the strongest team but three weeks is a lot harder to control and stay out of trouble than it is for a week-long race, like the three Brad has won. They are in the best position they can be, though. Brad is in the form of his life and so are all his team-mates.
Going into the Giro d'Italia the team went with a different approach. It was built around Cav and the sprints. We had our two Colombian guys there to go for the general classification but there was no pressure put on them. It wasn't until the final week when the GC was decided and the sprints were more or less over that we all turned our attention to them and they did a great job.
But in the Tour de France the team can't ride it like that. Brad's got to have as much support as possible, he's one of the favourites for a reason so it would be silly not to.
I'll be back with another blog - on the first rest day on Tuesday, 10 July - which will deal with riding in the mountains.