Sir Bradley Wiggins, who in 2012 became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, has said that he is unlikely to take part in the race again and is finished with road racing as he turns his attention to aiming for Olympic gold in the team pursuit at Rio in two years’ time.
Wiggins was speaking after an England quartet that could very well be the Team GB line-up in 2016 was convincingly beaten in the team pursuit final by Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow yesterday evening.
It’s the fourth Commonwealth Games medal of the 34-year-old’s career, all of them silver, and he didn’t appear too thrilled with the latest addition to his collection, taking it off immediately after the presentation ceremony where he stood stony-faced on the podium alongside Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.
Wiggins confirmed he was likely to miss the Vuelta, which he had planned to use as preparation for the world time trial championship in September, and would probably not ride the Tour de France again, which would make him the first post-war winner of the race never to compete in it again.
“I’ve kind of done the road now,” he said, quoted on Telegraph.co.uk. “I’ve bled it dry. The road is quite cut-throat. The track feels more like a family and a closer-knit group of people. That will probably be it for the Grand Tours. I can't imagine doing that now. I don't want to have to miss things on the track because of my commitments on the road.”
It’s unclear what that means for his future with Team Sky, where he is yet to sign a contract for 2015 and beyond. Earlier this week, Wiggins said that besides the Rio Olympics, his other big goal before he retires is to win Paris-Roubaix.
Referring to yesterday’s race, where England were behind from the start and faded badly late on despite Australia being reduced to three riders shortly after the halfway stage, Wiggins said: “I don’t want to sound like Roy Hodgson, but I can take some positives from this.
“Four weeks ago we sat in a room for the first time in six years, wondering how far we could ago. We have had limited preparation, and I hope we can look back at the Olympics in two years’ time with golds around our necks, thinking that Glasgow was the starting point. There is going to be a lot of graft to get ourselves in the right place for Rio.”
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.