New Team Sky colleagues Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish won't be racing together until next summer's Tour de France, after Wiggins confirmed his early season plans at a press conference on Wednesday evening. The two British stars have very different early season targets and fans will have to wait until the road season's showpiece event in July before seeing them team up.
"I'll start off at the Tour of Algarve before moving on to Paris-Nice and the Tour of Catalonia," Wiggins said. "So I won't see Mark until the Tour de France. I still haven't really had a look at the route for the Tour yet. It's still only December and I'll get Christmas out of the way first. After that my team will start drip-feeding me my training plans and bit of information about it."
Wiggins chose the road world championships in Copenhagen as his highlight of 2011, where he was part of the Great Britain team that helped Cavendish to victory despite being written off for most of the day.
"It was the Worlds that gave me most satisfaction, especially after my crash in the Tour de France," he said. "To perform so well after everyone was writing us off throughout the race on Twitter and the like was hugely satisfying. Afterwards, of course, we were the best thing since sliced bread. The way Cav was able to come through and do it was amazing and I doubt we'll ever see anyone do it like that again. It's rare to get so much satisfaction from seeing someone else win."
Having already won three Olympic gold medals on the track - one in Athens in 2004 and two in Beijing in 2008 - Wiggins reiterated that his main priority next season will be the Tour de France rather than the London 2012 Olympics.
"I love the Olympics but I have already been there and done it," he said. "I've only got a few years left to fulfill my potential at the Tour de France so to drop it all now and go back to the track would be the wrong decision at this point in my career so I'll be focusing on the Olympic time trial and the road race. The track regulations for the Olympics have changed but I'll be accredited and there on standby if they need me. I only did five days training this year before doing 3:55 on the track in Manchester, so it will be possible to perform well if I'm needed. And the best training for the team pursuit is the Tour de France."
Wiggins is currently at the Team Sky training camp in Majorca and said that Cavendish was settling in well with his new teammates.
"Cav is Cav and has his own way about him," he said. "It's funny to see him walking around the team hotel in his world championship jersey. There's lots of banter and when you take the mickey out of him he gives you loads of sound bites. He's really fitting in well and he's not the same bloke with us as he is when he's cooking on the TV. He's regularly checking the odds for him to win Sports Personality of the Year with the bookies and looking at what his main rivals are up to."