Team Sky has reportedly delayed its final announcement of its 2010 roster as attempts to secure the services of Bradley Wiggins are pursued.
According to The Guardian newspaper, Team Sky’s management team is adamant it can get its man, the reigning Olympic individual and team pursuit champion and the first British rider since Robert Millar to finish in the top five overall at the Tour de France. Wiggins finished fourth in this year’s Tour.
Garmin-Slipstream boss Jonathan Vaughters has constantly been forced to reiterate his position on Wiggins’ slated move in recent times, telling Cyclingnews that the Brit has another year left on his contract and that therefore he would be lining up for the American squad in 2010.
Recently, Garmin-Slipstream directeur sportif Matt White made the team’s position clear to Cyclingnews, saying: “He’s got a contract with us for next year.” He admitted that in his position, however, “What happens with Bradley next year is out of my hands.” White also indicated that Wiggins’ performances and attitude to the team following his successful Tour de France ride have given management no reason to believe he’ll be making the move to Team Sky.
“When I go to races it’s me dealing with him as athlete and manager, and we’ve had super results since the end of the Tour. He was good at Eneco Tour and helped Chris at Tour of Britain, then we won the Herald Sun Tour,” said White.
While a buyout of Wiggins’ contract would be costly and must be agreed upon by the management of both teams, The Guardian reports that representatives of the British ProTour outfit travelled to New York recently to meet with Vaughters’ lawyers, with Wiggins the obvious topic of conversation. Team Sky has denied this rumour, which originally started with incorrect reports that team manager David Brailsford was on a mercy dash to New York at the weekend, when he was in fact overseeing the nation’s track team at the International Cycling Union Track World Cup opener in Manchester.
This recent development is the latest in a long run of speculation about Wiggins’ future, which has been questioned by observers for several months. It’s also the first time Sky’s parent company, News Corporation, has been mentioned as a factor, with Sky European chairman James Murdoch reportedly weighing in on the deal, having recently taken up cycling.
Team Sky will gather in Manchester on 23 November, by which time it’s expected that the squad’s full line-up will be known.
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