TOURS, France (VN) — Team Sky will bring a loaded squad to the USA Pro Challenge that could include Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, and Richie Porte.
Sky officials have confirmed that Americans Joe Dombrowski, Ian Boswell, and Danny Pate will ride. Porte told VeloNews he is already planning on racing while Froome and Wiggins are both penciled in.
“Potentially Froome and Bradley will go,” Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford told VeloNews. “It depends on how we come out of the Tour. There are some variables, how the fitness is, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Sources close to the team, however, confirmed that Froome is all but sure to race the Colorado tour next month.
Here’s what Froome said when asked by VeloNews if he was going to race in Colorado: “Possibly, possibly, that could be a good option. We haven’t quite decided our schedule just yet. We’re trying to get through this one first.”
If Wiggins and Froome both line up, it will be the first time all season the pair has raced together since the Tour of Oman in February.
Sky’s presence at the Colorado tour will mark what could be the start of a larger presence in North America for the UK-registered team.
Brailsford said North America will become an even more important market for the future, especially with the arrival of Dombrowski and Boswell.
“We want to race in America more. We haven’t raced much in America yet,” Brailsford said. “We’re looking forward in going over there, and racing hard in what is an ever-increasingly popular race.”
Porte also confirmed he will race at the USA Pro Challenge. In fact, after the Tour, he has no plans to put the brakes on what’s been an amazing season.
“I’ve never actually made it to America, so after the Tour, I will just keep rolling. [Clásica] San Sebastián is my favorite one-day race. Then I will take a little break, do Colorado and the Canadian races,” Porte told VeloNews. “I will finish off the season with worlds, and the Italian classics. I might go to Japan as well. Why not?”
Wiggins targeting world TT title
Wiggins, meanwhile, is undergoing a six-week training camp to regain fitness to take aim for the world time trial title in Italy.
Last year’s Tour winner was sidelined after abandoning the Giro d’Italia with illness and knee problems and failed to recover in time to defend his yellow jersey.
With Froome’s ascendance, Wiggins’ absence has largely gone unnoticed by many.
Wiggins will return to competition in the Tour of Poland and will also race the Tour of Britain, which should see huge fan support for the UK’s first Tour champion.
The idea is to get race-ready in time to make a run for the world time trial title.
Last year, when Wiggins was all but unbeatable in time trials, he pulled the plug on his season after striking gold in the Olympic time trial race.
Wiggins’ best worlds TT ride was in 2011, when he rode to the silver medal behind Tony Martin in Copenhagen.
“That’s one of the key goals,” Brailsford said of Wiggins’ TT aim. “We always work backward from goals, so that’s one of the things we’ll be targeting for the end of this season.”