Bradley Wiggins's victory in the 2012 Tour de France was fuelled by a desire to prove critics wrong after his previous efforts in the race.
Wiggins was third in 2009, promoted from fourth after Lance Armstrong's results were voided in October 2012.
But the Briton finished 23rd the following year, before retiring with a broken collarbone in 2011.
"People were saying I was a flash in the pan. It is kind of proving all those people wrong," said Wiggins.
Wiggins became in July when an authoritative performance from Team Sky delivered him across the line in the Champs Elysees more than six minutes clear of any other team's rider.
The 32-year-old then added to the three Olympics golds he had won in appearances at Athens and Beijing after playing a starring role in the Games' opening ceremony.
But Wiggins, who sought out his wife Catherine and two children amid the Hampton Court crowd in the wake of winning the time trial, says that his disappointments keep his feet on the ground.
"In my moment of success I just wanted to be with the people who mattered the most," Wiggins told the BBC.
"I had a lot of disappointment a couple of years ago and I felt a bit insecure at times about how people thought of me.
"You know who your friends are at those times, really.
"That has stuck with me because now, at a moment of success, you can do no wrong.
"It was only the people around me who believed in me and gave me the confidence."
Wiggins has conceded it is on a more mountainous 2013 course, rather than defend his title.
Bradley Wiggins and Mod icon Paul Weller team up to discuss their love of music, life on the road and the effects of fame in a Christmas special to be broadcast on Boxing Day on BBC 6 Music.
Colin Murray presents a new cycling magazine show, talking to the key names in cycling about their careers and the lifestyle behind their sport.