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“The road will have to take a back seat, we will use the road to compliment it but the priority will be the track. I said at the end that it would probably be the end for grand tours,” Wiggins told the BBC.

Photo: Sirotti


29.07.2014 @ 09:00 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Even though there were some strong indications given that Bradley Wiggins would continue his road career as Team Sky rider, apparently his recent return to the track racing at the Commonwealth Games has changed his perceiving and the four time Olympic gold medalist put such scenario under a question as he aims to focus completely on Rio 2016.


Even after it became certain that Wiggins’ return as a grand tour contender in Team Sky outfit would be unlikely, his fiery love-affair with the cobbles last spring suggested that the 34-year old Briton would be tempted to set Paris-Roubaix as one of his main objectives for coming seasons.


The former Tour de France champion admitted that riding cobbled classics still remains possible, but exclusively as a part of a programme deliberately build around track racing as winning his fifth gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 will be his major priority.


In such circumstances, Wiggins claimed that even though he would be happy to stay within British team’s ranks, it would be completely understandable for him if they decided to leave the rider concentrated completely on track racing out of their roster.


“The road will have to take a back seat, we will use the road to compliment it but the priority will be the track. I said at the end that it would probably be the end for grand tours,” Wiggins told the BBC.


“I can’t imagine doing that with what it’s going to take to get up to speed with these guys. I’ve been there and done it, this has to take priority if we want to take golds.”


“Team Sky has become so competitive now and winning grand tours and places are scarce. Whether or not they have a place for an ex-grand tour winner to just use the racing to prepare for the track… That’s to be discussed,” continued Wiggins.


“I want to make sure that I build a road programme around the track and I don’t want to miss things on the track.”


In the same time, Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford admitted that approach to the coming two seasons of the 34-year old Briton became more radical following his appearance at Commonwealth Games, but they negotiate with his management to find out whether their needs are still possible to accord.


“He has made it quite clear he wants to go through to the Rio Games and ride,” Brailsford said. “And we are talking with his management team and how we can support that and try and make that happen. We will continue with those discussions.”


Brailsford was reluctant to judge whether a return of the former Tour de France champion to grand tour racing was possible.


“Maybe , maybe not, we will see,” Brailsford said about Wiggins’ grand tour return.


“I think that’s down to him. Physically he has changed I’m sure, but it’s hard work to get ready for a grand tour and if you’re focused on trying to develop team-pursuit-specific ability maybe he’ll go more towards prologues, time trials, that type of effort.


“It’s very much down to Brad. If he can make the sacrifices of going to altitude, control all the other things you need to do to ride a grand tour, only he can answer that.”


Wiggins joined the Sky team in 2010 when it debuted in cycling and helped it win its first Grand Tour in 2012. His contract ends this 2014 season and there has been some speculation, even from the rider himself, that he will switch teams.



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