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Froome 'at an absolute ideal place', says Team Sky boss

By Julien Pretot

PORTO VECCHIO, France (Reuters) - Just like Bradley Wiggins last year, Chris Froome has had the perfect build-up to the Tour de France and he is now "at an absolute ideal place", according to Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford.

Froome won four of the five stage races he has entered this year, crushing all the rivals he will face during the three-week Tour which starts on Saturday.

Wiggins won Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine last year on his way to becoming the first Briton to wear the yellow jersey on the Champs Elysees.

"Their run-ins to the Tour have been very similar in terms of their performance, in terms of the results they achieved, that's a positive thing," Brailsford told a news conference on Thursday.

A great season does not, however, guarantee a good result in July as riders sometimes peak too soon.

Just like Wiggins last year, Froome is exactly where he should be and Brailsford said the key issues were how fresh he is and how strong he is compared to the demands of the race.

"I think Chris is at an absolute ideal place this year to use his strength to take on this parcours," he said.

Froome said he felt happy with his preparation.

"I'm in super condition," he said.

But Brailsford said there would be no complacency.

"We are respectful of the other competitors as always, we don't take anything for granted complacency is not a word we contemplate," he said.

Froome, discovering the amount of hype that goes with the status of overwhelming favorite, will first be looking to avoid trouble and to limit the losses on less decisive stages, including the first three on the narrow winding roads of Corsica.

"You need to focus on the process, not the outcome on a race this long," Brailsford said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)