Wiggins rules out 2012 repeat
Reigning Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins admits he had to rediscover his motivation after a glorious but gruelling 2012.
Wiggins was awarded a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list after he became the first ever British winner of the yellow jersey in Paris, followed it up with the fourth Olympic gold medal of his career and was then named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
There is uncertainty over whether he will bid for a second successive Tour title, with last year's runner-up Chris Froome seen as a more likely Team Sky leader on a mountainous route and Wiggins expected to focus instead on the Giro d'Italia in May.
And he told the Sunday Express: "It took a lot of time for the motivation to come back. After the Olympics, there was a long time where I was thinking 'what the hell am I going to do here next year?'.
"So I had to find something to inspire me and the Giro d'Italia is something I would really love to try to win. It's as big a goal for me as winning the Tour was in 2012.
"In the previous 18 months, I had put so much into that Tour project I knew I wanted to go out and compete at a high level again. But I didn't want to retire or go through a season and fail, and have to deal with that.
"There was no way I was going through all that again. I didn't want to have that direct comparison with last year all the time. Unless I won all those races again, there was only one alternative and that was to fail."
Froome's victory in this week's Tour of Oman - where Wiggins, riding in a supporting role, came in 74th - provided a possible pointer as to Team Sky's approach at this year's Tour de France.
And Wiggins said: "I don't want to be too self-conscious and say 'Well I'm the winner of the 2012 Tour and if I'm not up there I don't want to race'. It's not just about me in the team.
"For Chris, winning races like Oman is about the rest of the team having confidence in him. He took that leadership role on, put his hand up and said he would do it. That's half the battle."