Wiggins to lead Sky at Tour of Britain

The 2012 Tour de France champion will lead the squad at the eight-day race ahead of the UCI Road World Championships starting September 15

LONDON (AFP) — Bradley Wiggins will lead Sky’s challenge in the Tour of Britain later this month, the British team announced on Thursday.

Wiggins, 33, revealed last month that he will turn his back on the road at the end of next season to focus on the track in the build-up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He was unable to defend his Tour de France title earlier this year due to illness and injury, while he missed last year’s Tour of Britain with a stomach complaint.

Wiggins, Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman, and David Lopez make up the Sky squad but last year’s winner, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, was not selected.

Wiggins says he hopes to use the eight-stage rage, which begins in southern Scotland on September 15, to prepare himself for the individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, on September 25.

“It’s a race I’m fond of and it’s nice to see it growing,” he said. “The crowds and the roads make it special and it’s always very humbling to see the fantastic support that we get from the public.

“I’m coming into the race feeling really good. It finishes in close proximity to the world time-trial championships, which is my main late-season goal.

“The Tour of Britain is always a tough event and I’m looking forward to getting started.”