Sir Bradley Wiggins, who in 2012 became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, has said that he is unlikely to take part in the race again and is finished with road racing as he turns his attention to aiming for Olympic gold in the team pursuit at Rio in two years’ time.
Wiggins was speaking after an England quartet that could very well be the Team GB line-up in 2016 was convincingly beaten in the team pursuit final by Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow yesterday evening.
It’s the fourth Commonwealth Games medal of the 34-year-old’s career, all of them silver, and he didn’t appear too thrilled with the latest addition to his collection, taking it off immediately after the presentation ceremony where he stood stony-faced on the podium alongside Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.
Wiggins confirmed he was likely to miss the Vuelta, which he had planned to use as preparation for the world time trial championship in September, and would probably not ride the Tour de France again, which would make him the first post-war winner of the race never to compete in it again.
“I’ve kind of done the road now,” he said, quoted on Telegraph.co.uk. “I’ve bled it dry. The road is quite cut-throat. The track feels more like a family and a closer-knit group of people. That will probably be it for the Grand Tours. I can't imagine doing that now. I don't want to have to miss things on the track because of my commitments on the road.”
It’s unclear what that means for his future with Team Sky, where he is yet to sign a contract for 2015 and beyond. Earlier this week, Wiggins said that besides the Rio Olympics, his other big goal before he retires is to win Paris-Roubaix.
Referring to yesterday’s race, where England were behind from the start and faded badly late on despite Australia being reduced to three riders shortly after the halfway stage, Wiggins said: “I don’t want to sound like Roy Hodgson, but I can take some positives from this.
“Four weeks ago we sat in a room for the first time in six years, wondering how far we could ago. We have had limited preparation, and I hope we can look back at the Olympics in two years’ time with golds around our necks, thinking that Glasgow was the starting point. There is going to be a lot of graft to get ourselves in the right place for Rio.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.