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Wiggins finalizes Sky development team plans

The British rider's goal is to win a fifth Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Games

MILAN (VN) — Bradley Wiggins is finalizing a development team with Sky for 2015 that will take him to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and a possible fifth Olympic gold medal.

“We’re in negotiations with Sky at the moment,” he said at a marketing event, according to The Telegraph. “Next year, I would love to have my own team which we are in the process of setting up. It will basically be the guys I am going to try to win that gold medal with.”

Wiggins has re-focused after becoming the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France in 2012. He has yet to return to the Tour and has no plans to do so.

He instead turned to the world championship time trial, which he won in September in Ponferrada, Spain, and to the Paris-Roubaix cobbled classic. This year he finished ninth on the Roubaix velodrome. In 2015, it could be his last big road race.

“Obviously I have come off the back of winning the world [time trial] championship six weeks ago. That was sort of the final nail in the road coffin as it were,” Wiggins said.

“I really want that fifth Olympic gold. So working back from that I’ll stay with team Sky — hopefully — and try to win something like Paris-Roubaix, which is a completely different challenge to the Tour de France.”

The 34-year-old from London is rumored to be on Sky’s Paris-Roubaix squad next April 12 before switching gears to the track. He will aim for the hour record in June or July and a team pursuit gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. To get there, he wants his own team that is not restricted to Sky’s UCI WorldTour program.

“I would love to have my own team,” Wiggins added. “And that team will facilitate a program, and a training program, which will basically give us the best possible opportunity of winning that gold medal.”

Wiggins won two Olympic gold medals in the individual pursuit in 2004 and 2008, one in the team pursuit in 2008, and one at home at the 2012 London Games in the road time trial.

At the Rio Games, Wiggins will be 36 years old and likely will be saying goodbye to his racing career. The development team could give him a new drive.

“Long-term, post-Rio, I’d love to find the next Bradley Wiggins or Chris Hoy,” Wiggins explained. “That is something that I think would really drive me for the next 10 years. That is kind of what the starting of this team is about; it’s that grassroots, the future of the sport, and finding the next champion.”

Wiggins, who was linked to Orica-GreenEdge this summer, has yet to announce his 2015 contract. The development team appears concrete, however. British website Cycling Weekly released photos of a customized motor home with Wiggins at the wheel. It also reported that Andy Tennant, Mark Christian, and Steven Burke — all endurance track cyclists — will join team Wiggins.

“I got approached by Brad. He put the project to me, and I was really keen,” the 27-year-old Tennant told Cycling Weekly.

“If anyone can pull the sponsors together, he’s the man. He told me why he wanted to do this team. It should be a really good team. For my development, this team will be a great place for me.”