Bradley Wiggins’ future is yet to be made official, but Cyclingnews understands that a dual announcement regarding a new contract with Team Sky and his proposed development team is due in the coming month. Wiggins' contract is up at the end of the season but, despite receiving a number of offers, he is expected to stay with Sky next season.
Wiggins announced ahead of the Commonwealth Games in June that he would switch his focus away from the road in 2015, as he looks target the track for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The exact details are yet to be finalised but the development team is expected to tie in with this. The yet to be named outfit will be track-focussed, with continuing domination at the Olympic Games providing the main goal for the team.
The 34-year-old is the most decorated British Olympian alongside fellow cyclist Chris Hoy, with seven Olympic medals in total. The opportunity to win an eighth medal in Rio, and to become Britain’s most celebrated British Olympian of all time, is thought to be a strong motivating factor in shaping Wiggins' desire to bring his career to a close on the track. Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour de France in 2012 and also holds seven world titles – including his latest in the individual time trial taken at the UCI Road World Championships.
Cyclingnews understands that Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford and British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton will be involved with the new team, and that Wiggins’ management company XIX Entertainment – who also look after the likes of David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray - are in discussions with the sponsors of the Olympics and other blue chip brands. It is expected that Sky will be heavily involved in the team. In the past, Sky sponsored a track team with riders such as Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton on their roster, although it was disbanded ahead of the 2013-14 season. The broadcaster still sponsors the British national team, along with the professional road squad.
Rumours of who may ride for the team have already cropped up, with former world champion Andy Tennant and being linked with the team.