The 2013 Tour of Britain winner lines up on Sunday as part of his WIGGINS squad but unlike in previous years there are no overall ambitions to win the race. The 2012 Tour de France winner has handpicked a number of road races since his move from Team Sky in April and utilised them as part of his track training, with the overall goal of winning another Olympic Gold medal in 2016.
“It’s a matter of seeing how it goes. If you can manage to get up the road one day that’s great,” he told The Guardian’s William Fotheringham before the Tour of Britain.
“I’m not aiming to win it or go for GC. It’s a training event so you want to get through safely, getting all the conditioning out of it before we go into the next track block. You want to get through without getting ill, or crashing, or anything that will hamper training for the next phase of the pursuit, which is the Europeans.”
Since moving away from the WorldTour ranks in the Spring Wiggins has dovetailed his track training with selected road races, including the Tour de Yorkshire, RideLondon and the Tour of Britain. These events allow him to build up race miles but also showcase his new team and ever-present popularity with UK cycling fans. The determination and overall ambitions have not changed, however, and Wiggins is utterly focused on Rio and his team pursuit ambitions.
“It helps we have no distractions on the road. I haven’t got to juggle it with the Tour de France; we’re all in one team, which is set up for the pursuiters, so we can say: ‘We want this race, that race and so on’. It’s all to facilitate that.”