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Australian team looking to sign Wiggins for 2015
Orica-GreenEdge are looking to boost their Grand Tour team with 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). "I would love to work with 'Wiggo,'" team manager Matt White told the Sydney Morning Herald. He continued by saying that Wiggins "is definitely a rider who would fit into this group."
Wiggins has been at Sky since its inception, but his contract is set to run out at the end of this season and he is yet to pen a new deal with the British squad. His race results and experience mean that several teams are looking to take him on, including Orica-GreenEdge.
"Our team is ready to have a grand tour rider next year," said White. “If Bradley was to come we would have to have the money to buy him. He is not going to come for 'free'."
Now in its third year of existence, the team sees itself in a position to extend itself into the competition for victory in one of the three-week races. "When you look at the likes of Esteban Chaves, Simon and Adam Yates, [Luke] Durbridge and [Michael] Hepburn," explained White. "If we can keep that group for the next two years we will have one hell of a Tour de France team in two to three years."
The team has won stages in each of the grand tours. It has four in the Giro d'Italia, including three this year, two at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta a Espana. While it has won a number of one-day and shorter stage races, it has never been a contender for the overall titles in any of the three-week races.
Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, but did not ride the race last year after picking up an injury before the race. Earlier this season, Wiggins' agent told Cyclingnews that the Brit had no intentions to leave the team, but the conflict between Wiggins and teammate Chris Froome, could be a deciding factor in his decision.
Since his golden year in 2012, where he won the Tour and the Olympic time trial, the 34-year-old has shifted his focus and has said that he would like to return to the track. White has admitted that this could be a stumbling block, but is still keen to get Wiggins on board. "Obviously, 2016 would be a write off for the Tour, but he is a guy who could definitely fit in," said White. "His ambitions at Sky are certainly different to a year ago.”
Wiggins has had a strong start to the 2014 season, with overall victory at the Tour of California. He is expected to support Froome in the defence of his Tour de France title in July.