FORMER Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins has launched his own professional cycling team, named simply Wiggins, as part of preparations to become the most decorated British athlete in Olympic history.
The squad will race primarily on the road although the ambitious aim is to equip four-time Olympic champion Wiggins and team-mates for a team pursuit gold bid on the track at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 34-year-old, who has seven Olympic medals to his name, will lead the team once the contract extension he signed this week with Team Sky expires on 30 April, following a tilt at the Paris-Roubaix Classic.
“Our ultimate goal is winning the team pursuit in Rio,” said Wiggins. “It’s to facilitate everything we need for the track programme.
“The team is track-based and we have got a lot of the guys from the programme in there so that we can stay and race and train together all year round.
“We can get exactly what we need in terms of achieving the end goal, which is winning the team pursuit in Rio de Janeiro.”
The other eight riders in the nine-man line-up are England’s Andy Tennant, Jon Dibben, Steven Burke, Daniel Patten and Mike Thompson, Welshman Owain Doull, Scotland’s Iain Paton and Mark Christian from the Isle of Man. A continental licence, granted by world governing body UCI, will enable the team to ride in events such as the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain and RideLondon.