Bradley Wiggins has stated that he wants to remember the success that his Team Wiggins Le Col squad had during their five-year stint in professional cycling, rather than dwell on the loss of his team. The former Tour de France winner added that they lacked the infrastructure needed to remain in the peloton after it was announced on Saturday that the squad would fold after the Tour of Britain.
“I want to celebrate what we’ve done. It’s come to a natural end, and that’s what it is,” Wiggins said while commentating on the Vuelta a Espana for Eurosport.
Team Wiggins was founded in 2015 as a squad dedicated to the emergence of young riders and Wiggins’ own goal of creating a programme based around the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He won his fifth Olympic title that year but retired at the end of the campaign. His team carried on for an additional three years at the Continental level and operated as a successful feeder team for the WorldTour ranks. Several current British pros, such as James Knox and Owain Doull have passed through the team over the years, while Tom Pidcock came through the ranks as well.
Despite that success, several domestic teams in the United Kingdom have struggled to survive in recent years and even with Wiggins name associated to their cause, the Wiggins Le Col squad have proved not to immune to the financial pressures faced by domestic and WorldTour teams.
“To take it up a level we would have needed a lot more infrastructure as we’ve seen with the likes of Ineos now,” Wiggins said. “The amount of money that’s gone into that… it needs more resources and I don’t really have the time anymore going forward with other things going on. It’s come to a natural end. I want to celebrate what we did do in the sport. It’s testament there, just speaking to Owain Doull. It’s those guys. Giving guys opportunities who are forever grateful.”
The squad currently has a 15-rider roster and the Tour of Britain will signify their last competitive race. Earlier in August Tom Pidcock’s family suggested that he could ride for the Great Britain team in 2020.