The European heartland is yet to thaw despite next season approaching with ever increasing momentum; training camps are underway and jerseys are being revealed all in preparation of 2015. But one mystery remains shrouded thus far; details are elusive for Team Wiggo’ ahead of next year, but clues have been dropped as pressure builds in search of information.
Bradley Wiggins faces some difficult decisions in the twilight of his career, his form now a finite resource, needs to be used wisely; most of all realistically. An amazing Paris-Roubaix this year was later topped by the incredible achievement of taking the World Time Trial Championship against a seemingly indomitable Tony Martin. He displayed once again his talent of setting goals perceived beyond his abilities; rising to the challenge with immense success thanks to pious dedication and focus. In 2016, the Olympic games shall be hosted by Rio de Janeiro and Bradley Wiggins wants his name on GB’s hotel reservations. A return to the track is calling him, the boards which made him a household name may yet see his effortless riding once more. But unlike the days which saw Wiggins first step onto the track in the name of Team GB, the competition is now more talented and much younger. The Sky man needs to prove his worth once again, meaning a step away from the road should he have any chance of catching the eye of Britain’s selectors.
Bradley Wiggins’ needs cannot be supported by Sky, a new structure needs to be put in place in order to allow him to achieve the intermediate goals which should set him on the path to Rio 2016. This means a new team without a doubt; Team Sky cannot afford to carry a high cost rider who will be inconvenienced by track events throughout the season. Exactly how far Wiggins will be separated from Sky remains unclear currently, though a certain level of both financial and coaching support seems guaranteed. Paris-Roubaix remains a big target for Wiggins’ before he retires from the road, so a logical plan would be for him to ride the spring with the intention of bettering last year’s result at the ‘Hell of The North’, before shifting focus onto the track. Whether this will happen under the guise of Team Sky is unconfirmed; it is still possible for Wiggins to ride for Team GB on the road in order to supplement his track ambitions after all. An application from Team Wiggins to ride Britain’s CiCLE Classic has been the only confirmation thus far of a speculated race schedule. Based around the East Midlands, the race could be used as domestic training for Wiggins’ well documented Paris-Roubaix ambitions.
Though unofficial, several riders have already dropped clear hints as to their involvement or intentions to join ‘Team Wiggo.’ Andy Tennant and Owain Doull are two such riders which have decided to turn down offers to join road-centric teams in 2015, instead opting for the complimentary track programme on offer at Team Wiggo. The academy riders of GB’s track roster might be ideal candidates to bulk out the squad around Wiggins, versatile youngsters which would seize opportunities to impress on big occasions. Bradley Wiggins’ will not be bereft of experience surrounding him though, track specialists Mark Christian and Steven Burke are strongly touted to have committed themselves to the project already to.
Once the new year is under way, we should see some definitive details emerge as to what embodiment this Wiggins led team shall take. Structure, programme, funding and roster details are all likely to be confirmed while Bradley Wiggins is still officially riding for Team Sky. Once spring is over however, a new livery could well be on the shoulders of Sky’s World Champion.
Check back regularly for the latest on ‘Team Wiggo’ at Spokenforks.