Team Sky has announced the six-man squad that will line up at the start of the Tour of Britain in Peebles, Scotland on Sunday September 15. Team leader Sir Bradley Wiggins has said the Tour of Britain is one of his targets for the end of the season and will have a strong team in support.
Along with Sir Bradley, Sky will field Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman and David Lopez.
After dropping out of the Giro d’Italia and missing the Tour de France, Sir Bradley will be aiming to rescue his 2013 season with good rides as the Tour of Britain and the world championships time trial shortly after.
Sir Bradley Wiggins said: "I'm really looking forward to the Tour of Britain; it's a race I’m fond of and it’s nice to see it growing in stature each year.
"The crowds and the roads make it special and it’s always very humbling to see the fantastic support that we get from the public.
"I’m coming into the race feeling really good. It finishes in close proximity to the world time trial championships which is my main late-season goal.
"The Tour of Britain is always a tough event and I’m looking forward to getting started."
Ian Stannard is expected to be a vital support rider for Sir Bradley after his performance in the Tour de France assisting Chris Froome to his first Tour de France win.
"The Tour of Britain has become a massive event in the cycling calendar and I’m really excited to be racing at home,” said Stannard.
"There’s a real enthusiasm for cycling at the moment – especially following Brad and Froomey’s Tour wins and the Olympics – so I’m really looking forward to competing again on British roads.
"We race all over the world but it’s always nice to compete in front of your home fans. With such a high-level race in the UK naturally I want to be there."
Tour of Britain organisers are happy to have Sky and Sir Bradley line up once again.
"We are very pleased to welcome Sir Bradley Wiggins back to The Tour of Britain alongside what looks to be a very strong Sky line-up,” said race director Mick Bennett.
"Both Ian Stannard and Josh Edmondson have performed strongly in the race before, while I, like many others, look forward to seeing Sir Bradley in action in the 10-mile Knowsley individual time trial.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.