Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) will not ride the Vuelta a España. Team Manager Dave Brailsford told the BBC at RideLondon this weekend that Wiggins will instead defend his Tour of Britain title in September.
Missing the Vuelta means that Wiggins will not ride a Grand Tour this season. It is the first time since 2005, when Wiggins made his Giro d’Italia debut, that he hasn’t ridden a single three-week race during a season.
"He'll ride in a couple of one-day races, then he'll ride the Tour of Britain," Brailsford said, according to bbc.co.uk. "We hope that will give him the right training preparations to go to the World Championships, and try to deliver in the individual time trial again, which he did so brilliantly last year. We hope he'll do the same again this year."
Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at the Vuelta a España, which begins on August 23, where he will face the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and defending champion Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida). Froome’s appearance at the Vuelta may be one reason for Wiggins’ decision to head home for the Tour of Britain. The pair has not raced together for Sky since the Tour of Oman at the beginning of 2013. Their last appearance in the same race came at the world championships road race in Florence last September.
Sunday’s RideLondon was Wiggins’ first outing in Team Sky colours since he won his third national time trial title at the end of June. Wiggins played a supporting role at the weekend, helping Ben Swift take second place. According to Brailsford, he will attend a training camp at altitude before his next race.
The 34-year-old has been focusing on the track this summer and made his competitive return in the team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow. After taking silver in the event, Wiggins went on to announce that he is unlikely to return to Grand Tour racing, as he looks to alter his physique to cope with the demands of track racing. His last three-week race was the Giro d'Italia in 2013, which he abandoned after stage 12. With this move, it looks like Wiggins is following through with his promise.