Update: Wiggins to Sky for £2m? Not yet he's not

Sky get their man in big money swoop

by Tony Farrelly   September 18, 2009  

Bradley Wiggins Tour de France TT 2009, Annecy (Photosport Intl)

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.

18 user comments

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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?

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:12

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If they've just splashed £2m on Bradley will they be able afford another big name?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4154 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:18

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Jon Burrage wrote:
Anyone else in the pipeline do you think?

Not sure their budget stretches to me anymore!

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1290 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:30

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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.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:42

1 Like

My worry for Garmin would be that riders leaving the Bruyneel stable often have trouble recreating their previous form Wink

hammergonewest's picture

posted by hammergonewest [105 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:46

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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 .....

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [746 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:48

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I'll third it then Big Grin

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1290 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:51

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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?

demoff's picture

posted by demoff [344 posts]
18th September 2009 - 9:58

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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.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4154 posts]
18th September 2009 - 10:21

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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.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1370 posts]
18th September 2009 - 12:28

1 Like

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

posted by jeru [7 posts]
18th September 2009 - 12:41

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Maybe it's time to put the question mark back on.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4154 posts]
18th September 2009 - 13:53

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just spoken to Sky - and we've updated the story accordingly

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4154 posts]
18th September 2009 - 14:35

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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...

demoff's picture

posted by demoff [344 posts]
18th September 2009 - 14:56

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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.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1370 posts]
18th September 2009 - 15:07

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much more enjoyable I'm sure… I'll amend the copy Smile

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4154 posts]
18th September 2009 - 15:09

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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?

Chuffy's picture

posted by Chuffy [190 posts]
18th September 2009 - 15:27

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BradWiggins tweets "I'd just like to take this opportunnity to thank the British press!".

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1370 posts]
21st September 2009 - 10:37

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