Tour de France: Bradley Wiggins thrilled as history beckons
Bradley Wiggins says winning the Tour de France will be his "greatest sporting achievement" after moving to the verge of achieving a lifelong goal.
Only an accident which prevents Wiggins from finishing Sunday's final stage in Paris can deny him victory.
Tour de France 2012 British stage winners
- Stage 2 - Mark Cavendish
- Stage 7 - Chris Froome
- Stage 9 - Bradley Wiggins
- Stage 12 - David Millar
- Stage 18 - Mark Cavendish
- Stage 19 - Bradley Wiggins
The 32-year-old triple Olympic champion said: "There are other things in my life that mean more to me than this.
"But in a sporting sense it's my greatest achievement. I've just won the Tour. What else is bigger than that?"
Wiggins, who now leads compatriot Chris Froome by three minutes, 21 seconds after beating his Team Sky team-mate in Saturday's time trial, is poised to become the first British winner of the fabled yellow jersey in the 99th edition of the legendary race.
But he said: "I'm determined to not let it change me. I'm not into celebrity life, red carpet, all that rubbish.
"I go home and I have to clean up dog muck and that's incredibly grounding."
An emotional Wiggins admitted recalling the people and moments which have influenced his life towards the end of Saturday's 53.5km time trial.
I'm a little disappointed because I thought Bradley would have won by a greater distance. Seriously though I am so pleased. This year's course suited Bradley and he rode it perfectly. A few years ago I don't think anyone could have imagined we would have a British winner, never mind the top two on the podium. It confirms this is not going to be a flash in the pan and with Froome there's a legacy
"The last 10k I was thinking of a lot of things and it was spurring me to go on even harder," he added.
"Just thinking back to my childhood. My father leaving us when I was a kid and growing up with my mum in a flat. My grandfather brought me up; he was my father role-model.
"He died when I was on the Tour two years ago. When I came home from the Tour in 2010 I had to go to his funeral.
"Going back as a child, watching the Tour de France as a kid on telly, from the age of 10, 11, 12, all through the [five-time winner Miguel] Indurain years.
"Dreaming that one day you would win the Tour, but thinking: 'What chance has a kid growing up in central London got of winning the Tour?' It's been an incredible road."
The result fulfils Team Sky's stated aim of winning the Tour with a British rider within five years of their 2010 launch.
"A lot of people laughed when we said that we could win this race in five years with a clean British rider," team principal Dave Brailsford said.
"From a team perspective we'd like to build on this and I'd like to think this is not just a one-off."