Team England and British Cycling have today announced that Bradley Wiggins will join the track squad for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, July 23-August 3.
The news comes on the heels of Team Sky’s announcement of a Tour de France squad without Wiggins, making him available to ride for the national team in Glasgow.
Wiggins has said that he plans to focus on the track in the run up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where he hopes to add to his medal tally.
Shane Sutton said: “I’m very happy to be able to welcome Sir Bradley back to the track team for the Commonwealth Games - his addition will be a real morale boost to the rest of the track squad. The decision of who will ride what event will be made nearer the time.”
Earlier today Team Sky today announced its team for the Tour de France (July 5-27) and confirmed that as expected, Chris Froome will be the team’s candidate for the general classification, defending the title he won last year.
Froome will be supported by Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve, Bernhard Eisel, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Danny Pate and Xabier Zandio.
Wiggins has said several times this year that he would be happy to ride for Froome at the Tour, so his exclusion could be interpreted as a major snub. It’ll be interesting to see if he even rides for Team Sky again this season.
Sky’s team principal Dave Brailsford said: “Team Sky returns to the Tour de France with the reigning champion and we are looking to win the yellow jersey for the third time in three years and a second consecutive time for Chris Froome. Defending champion Chris Froome is an exceptional talent, a brilliant stage racer, and he’ll lead the team.
“We know how hard it is to win this race and that it takes a totally focused and carefully constructed team, with the right blend of riders, to give us the best chance of victory. Each rider has been selected to play a specific role which will involve total sacrifice and commitment to the team’s ambition of reaching the Champs Élysées in yellow.
“In tackling the difficult challenge of selecting this team, we have stuck to a performance-first philosophy which has bought us considerable success, firstly at British Cycling and then with Team Sky, for more than a decade. Given the number of talented riders in Team Sky this approach has inevitably lead to some very tough decisions – however it’s crucial to remain totally focused on the desired outcome and we’re racing to win.
“It has been a golden decade for cycling. Bradley Wiggins lies at the heart of a lot of that success, and although he has not been selected for this race he is still a key member of Team Sky and a great champion.
“The last time the Tour came to Britain it helped sow the seeds for what eventually became Team Sky. Everyone should be immensely proud of how far we’ve come and we can’t wait to ride in front of the UK fans. I believe that this will mark the moment when Britain truly becomes a cycling nation.”
Chris Froome said: “Everyone in the team is hugely excited about the Tour de France starting in the UK and racing in front of home fans as defending champion will be an incredible honour.
“We did a recce of the Yorkshire stages a few weeks ago and the excitement was already starting to build and the support that we have received has been fantastic. I’ll never forget the atmosphere on the roads during the London Olympics and to receive similar support at the Tour would be amazing. There’s no greater motivation for us than riding in front of our UK fans.
“We have a really strong team going into the race, full of experience and ability, and we’ve spent a lot of time together this year which is very important. We’re ready to get started and can’t wait to get to Yorkshire.”
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.