Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) is just a day away from returning to competition on the track. Wiggins will be competing in the team and pursuit this Thursday, at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It is the first time since the Manchester round of the World Cup in 2011.
Wiggins was originally selected to ride the time trial for Team England, but was added to the track team when he missed out on Tour de France selection with Team Sky. With his eyes set on riding the boards at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, Wiggins has opted to miss the road programme at the Commonwealth Games.
"The initial thing, having been away for so long, was whether I could still do it. Straight away the initial signs were really good and since then I've just been focusing on the team pursuit," he said in a press conference ahead of the Games, which opens on Wednesday evening. "I was just down for the time trial, had I gone to the Tour de France, but the training for the last four to five weeks has been so concentrated on the track and I don't think I could have done much on the roads."
"I dropped everything else. The plan was to come in and do pretty much most of the events. With hindsight, I thought just focus on the Olympic event rather than try to be too greedy."
Wiggins won gold in the team pursuit at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and has a silver and bronze from Athens and Sydney. He also has two golds in the individual event, but it was later removed from the Olympics as the UCI tried to balance out the events between men and women. There has been speculation that the individual pursuit would make a return for Rio, but this is yet to be confirmed.
The men's team pursuit is one of four events that will contest for medals on the opening day of the Games, along with the men's team sprint, women's 500m time trial and the women's sprint B2 tandem. With the medal contest coming so early in the schedule, it has allowed Wiggins and the team to focus on it without distraction.
"All the training's been geared up to the team pursuit and trying to break back into that. It's the only Olympic event really that's available to me now, because the individual pursuit has gone. I thought I'd put all my eggs into the one I'm going to try to do for the next two years."