In announcing that he is launching a new cycling team from April 2015, Sir Bradley Wiggins has perhaps declared that he will no longer be contesting the Grand Tours of the European calendar and that his Tour de France victory of 2012 will be his sole success in that prestigious event. Wiggins will ride for Team Sky until April and will hope for a decent performance in the Paris-Roubaix race but will then concentrate his efforts on team building and his preparation for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Wiggins is multi-gold medallist on the track at both Olympic and Commonwealth Games and in the World Championships, and decided to compete in the road discipline as part of another challenge with time trialling one of his more favoured assets. The 2009 Tour de France confirmed his potential with a fourth placed finish and he appeared fairly adept in maintaining contact with the leading peleton riders during the mountain stages.
A move to Team Sky followed after ambitions of winning the Tour de France were emphasised as declared goals by team officials and Wiggins duly satisfied the team management and sponsors by winning the 2012 renewal. However, that victory was clouded in controversy with accusations that his team-mate Chris Froome was not following precise orders in helping Wiggins.
The relationship between Wiggins and Team Sky has been strained ever since that Tour, with Froome arguably identified as the team number one rider and Wiggins looking elsewhere for other opportunities and describing the atmosphere among his fellow road race rivals as not to his liking.
So now that his future plans have been identified, Wiggins will attempt to improve upon his ninth placing in the 2014 Paris-Roubaix race before saying his goodbyes to Team Sky and returning to track racing. Team Wiggins will then be launched with one of the prime intentions of helping some of the younger British cyclists in fulfilling their potential.
Wiggins will focus mainly on the track and has declared his aim of breaking the one hour World record besides preparing for his assault on the next Olympics. Road racing may also be considered and while the idea of helping the future aspirants of the sport is to be admired, Wiggins’ hopes of satisfying his own remaining ambitions could be more of a problem.
For example, his legs are beginning to age and he may have lost some of the required speed required for track racing by competing for six years on the road. That extra edge of track competitiveness may also take some time to regain.
The World of cycling will undoubtedly wish him luck as he begins his new venture and he will earn much credit should he succeeds in defying the doubters who will claim that he lacks the skills to be a team manager. Winning a gold medal in Rio would be perfect way to silence any further critics.
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