Bradley Wiggins is back in action on the road at the Challenge Mallorca series in Spain, racing with his teammates from the Great Britain squad that will also produce the track riders for the team pursuit and other endurance events at the Track World Championships and Rio Olympics.
Wiggins has a home on the Spanish island and often trains there during the winter. He is one of the big-name riders of the four-race series, which runs until Sunday, along with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), who won the first race on Thursday.
Wiggins seemed to enjoy returning to road racing after a winter spent training for the track. He avoided getting involved in the attacks, sitting safely at the back of the peloton and using his power to spin up the climbs. He finished 135th in the first race on Thursday and was 145th in the main peloton that finished 18 minutes behind Gianluca Brambilla on Friday.
The Great Britain team also includes Scott Davies, Andy Tennant, Owain Doull, Jonathan Dibben, Chris Latham, Ian Paton and Tao Geoghegan Hart – who made his debut in race two won by Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep). Under the rules of the Challenge Mallorca, riders can swap in and out during the series; with the first and final races more suited to the sprinters, while races two and three head into the hills of Mallorca.
Because he is riding for Great Britain, Wiggins is racing on a Cervelo bike and in the red, white and blue colours of the national team. He will switch to his more often seen WIGGINS team colours and Pinarello bike next week for the Dubai Tour.
This gallery of photos shows Wiggins and his teammates in action in Mallorca and confirm that Wiggins has added several kilos of muscle during the winter in preparation for the high-speed, power work needed for the team pursuit. Cyclingnews understands that Wiggins will team up with Mark Cavendish to ride the Madison event at the Track World Championships in London in early March.