Commonwealth Games: Bradley Wiggins may race on track if he misses out on Tour de France
Last Updated: 25/06/14 1:48pm
Sir Bradley Wiggins is set to race on the track at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow should he miss out on selection for Team Sky’s Tour de France squad.
The three-time Olympic track champion has been riding on the boards in secret in recent weeks and would be welcomed into the Team England squad “with open arms”, according to technical director Shane Sutton.
Wiggins, 34, had been hoping to ride the Tour but there is uncertainty surrounding his chances of being selected, and his hopes were further damaged when he pulled out of last week’s Tour de Suisse after a crash.
He is already penned in to race the road time trial at the Commonwealth Games, but a call-up to the track team could also see him compete in the individual and team pursuit.
Sutton said a decision will be made after Team Sky have named their nine-man Tour de France line-up, which is expected to be at the end of this week.
He told Sky Sports News: “We would all be buzzing if he came back to the track. There’s a selection to be made this week with the Tour de France team and until Sir Dave Brailsford [the Team Sky principal] announces that team, we don’t know whether Brad will be on the track or not.
“At this moment in time, he is definitely down to ride the time trial. The chances are, if he misses out [on Team Sky’s Tour de France team] we will slot him straight on to the boards because he has done a little bit of work. He’s a natural, technically the most gifted track rider we have seen in years. We would welcome him back with open arms.”
Wiggins has won three gold medals and six world titles on the track and is widely regarded as one of the finest riders of his generation.
Selection for the Commonwealth Games could also pave the way for him to compete on the boards at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Great Britain’s men’s team pursuit squad has struggled for form and results since winning gold at the London 2012 Games, and Ed Clancy, a key part of the four-man line-up, believes Wiggins would provide a valuable boost.
“It’s all theoretical talk at the moment,” he said. “If Brad starts looking at the team already, that’s a good sign.”
Wiggins is set to race at the national time trial championship in Wales on Thursday, where he will bid to claim the title for the third time.