Wiggins stops bid to make British 2020 Olympic team in rowing - News Shorts

Dion Smith to Mitchelton-Scott, Maes renews with Lotto Soudal

Bradley Wiggins has stopped his efforts to make the British Olympic team for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo in rowing, telling Eurosport on his eponymous show that he has too much to do.

"I'm still training every day, most days, with it. But I've decided that I'm not going for the Olympics because I've got too much other stuff to do," Wiggins told show host Adam Green.

"I need to give myself a break. I just haven't got time to train three times a day. To the level I want to do it to it's a full-time job in itself..."

After retiring from cycling in 2016, the former Tour de France and Olympic champion on the road and track took up rowing but struggled to match the power of athletes who were much larger. When Wiggins won the Tour in 2012 he was 67kg, but some of his competitors weigh in over 100kg.

When Wiggins debuted at the 2017 British Indoor Championships, he finished a distant 21st. In 2018, he joined the Tideway Scullers team in the Masters B eight, taking third place.

Dion Smith to Mitchelton-Scott

Mitchelton-Scott announced the signing of New Zealand's Dion Smith. The 25-year-old currently races with Wanty-Groupe Gobert and wore the mountains jersey in this year's Tour de France for three stages.

That performance as well as his third place overall in the Baloise Belgium Tour caught the eye of head director Matt White.

"We were looking for a versatile guy and Dion is a pretty versatile character," White said in a press release. "He can do a bit of everything, he can handle himself in the Flemish classics, he's fast but not a pure sprinter, he can climb good, he is a real racer.

"This will be his first WorldTour team, he has been with Wanty-Groupe Gobert for a couple of years after One Pro Cycling and I think he is ready for that next step into the WorldTour."

Smith will have several fellow Kiwis in the organisation, including Jack Bauer and Sam Bewley and Georgia Williams from the women's team.

"Reaching the top level in professional cycling is a massive goal of mine and now I am 25 and about to sign for a WorldTour team, but not only that, with the team that I've aspired to be a part of for years being a rider from the Southern Hemisphere," Smith said. "Mitchelton-Scott has always been an exciting dream.

"The last two years with Team Wanty Groupe Gobert has provided me with vast amounts of experience and opportunities in the biggest races on the calendar. It's been a great stepping stone and important for my career."

Maes renews with Lotto Soudal

Nikolas Maes inked a new two-year contract with Lotto Soudal, the team announced on Friday. The now 32-year-old Belgian moved across for the 2017 from Quick-Step, and has been a key support teammate in the Classics squad.

"I feel good in this team, as a sportsman and as a person. That's why I wanted to extend my contract," Maes said in a team announcement. "I can do my job for the leaders of the team. I love the challenge of aiming for victory in the big races with a leader like Tiesj Benoot or Tim Wellens. When we achieve a good result, it gives me satisfaction. I can enjoy a victory of a teammate in a big race as much as winning a small race myself. As a person I also feel good in this team. I have a good bond with my teammates and I can be myself. That's important because you are so often away from home."

Maes has no qualms about being out of the spotlight behind his teammates, and will likely be an important rider for controlling races for new sprinter Caleb Ewan, who will join the team next season.

"I mainly race in function of the team's leaders and that role suits me. I will also work for them in the following two years and support them in the big races. Caleb Ewan will also give a new boost to the team and I am looking forward to that new cooperation. I am very excited to keep contributing to the success of Lotto Soudal."

Maes is also joined by newcomers Roger Kluge, Adam Blythe, and Brian van Goethem.

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