By Neal Rogers
Despite reports to the contrary, Garmin-Slipstream team manager Jonathan Vaughters says Bradley Wiggins will continue to ride in blue-and-orange argyle in 2010.
Responding to a story in Friday’s edition of the British newspaper The Guardian that described a Team Sky buy-out of Wiggins’ contract with Garmin for 2010, Vaughters told VeloNews via email, “It’s just untrue. There is no agreement in existence like this.”
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, also ran an “exclusive,” reporting that Team Sky had finalized a £2million compensation deal to buy out Wiggins’ contract, incorrectly referring to the American team as “Garmin Chipotle.”
Wiggins, who is from London and lives in Manchester, is attractive to the British squad both for his nationality and for his fourth-place finish at this year’s Tour de France, which would help the team in its goal to win the Tour in the next five years. Already signed with Team Sky is Columbia-HTC rider Edvald Boasson Hagen, winner of four stages at this week’s Tour of Britain.
A Garmin team spokesperson reiterated Vaughters’ statement, replying, “As we’ve stated, Bradley Wiggins is under contract with us through 2010.”
Both The Guardian and The Daily Mail are reporting that the compensation for Wiggins’ 2010 contract will allow Garmin to sign this year’s Tour champion Alberto Contador.
There was wide-spread speculation during Astana’s financial crisis in June that Contador was headed to Garmin prior to the Tour de France, with reports that the Spaniard had already been sent a team bike and fitted for custom clothing. Vaughters declined comment at the time, insisting that he would not comment on negotiations between the team and riders until a contract is signed.