Bradley Wiggins, controversially left out of Team Sky’s squad for the Tour de France, will be back on British roads this Sunday after receiving a late call-up to its line-up for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
He’s the first former Tour de France winner to participate in the event, now in its second year, which follows much of the route of the Olympic road race in 2012 when Wiggins, less than a week after winning the yellow jersey, put in some huge turns to try and help Mark Cavendish win Olympic gold.
His efforts proved in vain, but a few days later Wiggins himself took the fourth Olympic title of his career as he won the time trial, and he capped 2012 by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year title and then being awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours.
Speaking to the Team Sky website, Wiggins, who last year won the Tour of Britain, said: "I’m really looking forward to Sunday and to being back on the road with Team Sky.
"I always enjoy competing in front of home fans and have great memories of riding this route at the Olympics.
"The support we got then was unbelievable, and it was the same again at the Tour of Britain again last year, so this promises to be a really special day."
Race director Mick Bennett said: “We are delighted to welcome Sir Bradley to Prudential RideLondon this weekend. He completes an already first-class line-up for the event.
“The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic enjoys great support from spectators at the roadside across the route and this announcement means fans can now look forward to seeing one of the greatest ever British cyclists racing in the event.”
Also in the field for Sunday’s race will be former world champion Philippe Gilbert, sprinters Mark Renshaw, Alessandro Petacchi and Elia Viviani, plus Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Scott Thwaites and twin brothers Adam and Simon Yates. You can find a provisional start list here.
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be shown live this Sunday on BBC1 from 14:00 and on British Eurosport from 14:30 on Sunday 10 August.
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.