Sir Bradley Wiggins says he will stay with Team Sky next season with his main targets being Paris-Roubaix and a potential return to the velodrome for an attempt at the Hour Record. However, he does not expect to ride the Tour de France next year, and while he says he will still ride Grand Tours, it will not be to target victory.
Wiggins was speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport after flying to Italy for the weekend to take part in the Pina Cycling Marathon, and confirmed he was considering the Hour Record, and on a Pinarello bike since he is staying at Team Sky, which is sponsored by the Italian brand.
He confirmed that Paris-Roubaix, where he finished ninth this season, would be his big goal for 2015, and praised Vincenzo Nibali’s performance over the cobbles on stage five of the Tour de France last Wednesday when the Astana rider finished third to consolidate his overall lead.
Wiggins added that if Nibali is in the same form as he was when he won the Giro d’Italia last year, a race the Sky rider abandoned halfway through, he could not see him being beaten at the Tour de France.
The 2012 winner has not returned to the race since his victory, and his likely absence next year raises the prospect that he may become the only post-war champion never to ride the Tour de France again.
Later this month, Wiggins, who in June won the British time trial championship, heads to Glasgow to represent England in the Commonwealth Games.
He will then ride the Vuelta, meaning he won’t defend his Tour of Britain title, ahead of the World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, where he is targeting the time trial. He will not be targeting the overall at the Vuelta, instead using it as preparation for the Worlds.
The Pina Cycling Marathon was originally launched to mark Giovanni Pinarello's 75th birthday and now honours his son Andrea Pinarello, former head of marketing at the family-owned business, who died of a heart attack in 2011 at the age of 40 shortly after completing a stage of the amateur Giro del Friuli.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.