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Sky get their man in big money swoop

The prospect of Bradley Wiggins riding for Team Sky is certainly an exciting one – too exciting for many in the British media, road.cc included, to wait until it was actually a done deal. Reports in various media outlets today were saying that agreement had been reached on a deal to bring Wiggins to Team Sky in return for £2m being paid to his current team, Garmin Slipstream.  However, we've spoken to Sky and it isn't so, and Jonathan Vaughters has been interrupted trying on trousers in Paris to say the same from the Garmin end of things. 

Signing the 29-year old Briton who came fourth in this year's Tour de France losing out on a podium spot by three seconds to Lance Armstrong was seen as crucial to Sky's efforts to obtain a Pro Tour licence for the coming season and there is no doubt that they really want him. The level of rumour around all this has been intense and we are pretty sure Wiggins will end up at Sky… eventually.

The word is that behind the scenes Sky and Brailsford have been pulling out all the stops to their main target, but Wiggins' price went up sharply after his impressive ride to fourth place in this year's Tour. Given that it was no secret that Sky wanted him and that he also had a year to run on his contract Garmin Slipstream, boss Jonathan Vaughters had a strong hand and is playing it well, according to the cycling rumour-mill he wants some serious money in return for letting Wiggins go. 

Vaughters is very strongly tipped to use any money gained from the Wiggins deal to attempt to lure Alberto Contador to Garmin – quite where this would leave Christian Vandevelde in the Garmin pecking order is anyone's guess. On the other hand had Wiggins stayed the questions of team leadership at next year's Tour would have been a vexed one for Garmin anyway – if they get Contador there won't be any doubt about who is boss.

If and when the Wiggins signing is confirmed – we were told two weeks ago that this was going to happen –  Sky will have got the big name they needed: the roster announced looks a good blend of youth and experience long on promise, but coming up a bit short on the necessary star power needed to ensure invitations to all the biggest races. 

This morning it looked like today could prove to be the biggest in Team Sky's short but eventful history especially if other rumours about a likely announcement from the UCI prove to be true. This afternoon things don't look quite so exciting… and then the UCI go and award them their Pro Tour Licence, one out of two ain't bad.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.

18 comments

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 6 years ago
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I dont know if that is good or bad...I like the agrmin team and think that with VDV, millar, farrar etc they hold a stronger squad to push brad in the major tours. It will give sky a better chance of getting protour status though. Anyone else in the pipeline do you think?

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 6 years ago
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If they've just splashed £2m on Bradley will they be able afford another big name?

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 6 years ago
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Jon Burrage wrote:

Anyone else in the pipeline do you think?

Not sure their budget stretches to me anymore!

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 6 years ago
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Well Jimmy, you have to pay top dollar to get your sort of quality.

I wouldn't be a fan of Garmin if Alberto went there.

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hammergonewest [105 posts] 6 years ago
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My worry for Garmin would be that riders leaving the Bruyneel stable often have trouble recreating their previous form  3

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therevokid [948 posts] 6 years ago
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Jon Burrage wrote:

I wouldn't be a fan of Garmin if Alberto went there.

I'll have to second that .....

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 6 years ago
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I'll third it then  4

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demoff [327 posts] 6 years ago
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Have Sky had the nod for their Pro Tour licence on the quiet then? Which is why this is starting to break.

Or is it just typical Sky speculation and rumour mongering?

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 6 years ago
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You could go in for a lot of political speculation on this one – the strong rumour is that Sky have had the nod, but where did that rumour come from…

When it comes to getting a licence theirBritish Cycling links can't hurt and having Wiggins strengthens their case too, but then signing Wiggins could be seen as insurance against not getting it - having a name like him should bring the race invites flooding in. Cervelo aren't a Pro Tour team and it didn't do them any harm because they signed two big names.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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I hope this isn't true. I think the peloton would be more interesting next year with Wiggins at Garmin. £2 million sounds like a lot for a team with an annual budget of £10 million.

And I'm sure that Sky's confirmed riders are easily good enough for a ProTour licence. And there are now 7 teams competing for 7 possible licences now that Skil-Shimano have dropped out.

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jeru [7 posts] 6 years ago
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Is this correct.....CW website has a slightly different story:

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/397699/garmin-boss-denies-rep...

I've got mixed views about it, part of me would like to see him ride for Sky, but part of me thinks he might be better off with a 'big' team

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 6 years ago
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Maybe it's time to put the question mark back on.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 6 years ago
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just spoken to Sky - and we've updated the story accordingly

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demoff [327 posts] 6 years ago
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Looks like Sky may be around for a while they have got their Pro Tour Licence.

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/397793/team-sky-awarded-proto...

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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I don't think Jonathan Vaughters is "at the Vuelta". According to his twitter he is trying on trousers in Paris.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 6 years ago
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much more enjoyable I'm sure… I'll amend the copy  1

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Chuffy [201 posts] 6 years ago
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Nice (for a given value of 'nice') to see that I'm not alone in being unhappy at the prospect of Bertie signing for Garmin. Do you think they get to check his passport data before deciding to sign him or does that come once the process has reached a certain stage?

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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BradWiggins tweets "I'd just like to take this opportunnity to thank the British press!".