ROME (AFP) — Bradley Wiggins has revealed he will be staying at Team Sky next year and has given up any hope of riding the Tour de France as a contender.
Speaking from Treviso where he was taking part in the Pinarello Marathon — the bicycle manufacturer also supplies Sky with its bikes — Wiggins admitted his Tour days were probably numbered, even as a domestique.
And the first-ever British Tour de France winner, said he has other goals now, including breaking the hour world record and winning Paris-Roubaix.
“It’s true, I’m thinking about it [the hour record]. Not this year but I’ll try next year,” he said.
“And I’ll do it on these (Pinarello) bikes because I’m going to stay at Sky.”
Wiggins is coming to the end of his current contract at Sky, and after he was left off the team to ride this year’s Tour, there was speculation that he would look for a ride elsewhere.
But instead he has simply decided to recalibrate his goals. And one of those might be to ride the Giro d’Italia next year.
“If Sky don’t take me to the Tour, I’ll come here,” he said, although stipulating he doesn’t expect to be riding for the overall victory.
“My time as a grand tour rider is over. Of course I’ll ride some more, but not to win them,” he added. Turning his attention to the current Tour, which his Sky teammate Chris Froome has already abandoned, Wiggins backed Vincenzo Nibali to triumph over Sky’s Richie Porte.
“Nibali is my favorite. If he rides like he did at last year’s Giro, if he’s in that shape, I think he’ll be almost unbeatable.”
Wiggins was supposed to challenge Nibali for the Giro crown in 2012 but after a poor start in which he lost his nerve on some slippery, wet descents and started giving up time to the Italian, he pulled out with illness. He then also went on to miss the defense of his Tour title due to injury.