Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has been announced as the leader of the Tour of Britain team, which begins on September 15 in Peebles, Scotland.
The 33-year-old will joined by Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman and David Lopez as part of the six-man team.
Sir Bradley 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".
Sir Bradley Wiggins will compete for one more year with Team Sky before retiring from professional road racing next summer.
Speaking of teammate Chris Froome, he said, "I don't mind admitting that Chris is probably a better Grand Tour rider than me. He has age on his side, he has no kids. That's fine. If Chris wants to, he could potentially win five tours now."
Wiggins is setting his sights on a return to the velodrome at Rio 2016, telling the newspaper, "I'm going to continue to the next Olympics and try for a fifth gold on the track, that's the plan".
"It would be nice to finish the career with another Olympic gold," he added.
Sky team doctor Richard Freeman said Bradley Wiggins could not compete in the Tour de France because he needs time to recover from a knee injury:
The chest infection that caused his withdrawal from the Giro has responded to treatment and rest. It has completely cleared up.
However, further medical investigations on the knee injury that we were managing at the Giro showed the condition was more significant than we thought. It’s needed intensive treatment and, whilst it will be fully resolved,
Bradley now needs to rest completely for five days before a gradual, return to full training over a period of two to three weeks.”
Bradley Wiggins' team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford of Team Sky, said the Tour de France champion would not be considered for selection due to his injury problems:
With illness, injury and treatment Brad has gone past the point where he can be ready for the Tour. It’s a big loss but, given these circumstances, we won’t consider him for selection.
He hasn’t been able to train hard since the Giro and now he needs further rest. Whilst we all know these things happen in sport, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a huge disappointment for everyone in the team – and above all for Brad.
It’s incredibly sad to have the reigning champion at Team Sky but not lining up at the Tour. But he’s a champion, a formidable athlete and will come back winning as he has before.
Sir Bradley Wiggins said he was forced to pull out of this summer's Tour de France because he had not been able to train due to injury:
It’s a huge disappointment not to make the Tour. I desperately wanted be there, for the team and for all the fans along the way - but It’s not going to happen. I can’t train the way I need to train and I’m not going to be ready.
Once you accept that, it’s almost a relief not having to worry about the injury and the race against time.
I’ve been through this before, when I broke my collarbone, so I know how it works. I’ll get this sorted, set new goals for this season and focus on those.
This team has so many riders in great shape, ready for selection and we set incredible standards for performance which shouldn’t be compromised. We need to have the best chance to win.
Defending champion Bradley Wiggins has been ruled out of this year's Tour de France due to injury.
Bradley Wiggins has come second on third stage of Giro d'Italia.
The results are:
- (1) Luca Paolini (Italy / Katusha) 9:04:32"
- (2) Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) +17"
- (3) Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky)
- (4) Benat Intxausti (Spain / Movistar) +26"
- (5) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana)
Chris Froome will lead Team Sky's charge at this year's Tour de France, team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said.
Froome played a vital role in helping Sir Bradley Wiggins claim victory in the 2012 Tour, finishing second overall himself but Team Sky stated back in January that the 2013 campaign would be built around Froome, with Wiggins in support.
Brailsford told www.teamsky.com : "As always the team selection is a management decision and it will be evidence-based.
"However it is crucial there is clarity of purpose and for that reason we will go to the Tour with one leader.
"Taking that into consideration and given Chris' step up in performances this year, our plan, as it has been since January is to have him lead the Tour de France team."
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