After finishing third overall at the Tour of Britain, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has suggested that he will now begin to wind down his road commitments as he turns his attention to the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Although Paris-Roubaix will once again be the centrepiece of his spring in 2015, Wiggins said that he will no longer be a realistic contender in “anything with a climb in” as he returns in earnest to training on the track.
“It’s easy to think ‘I’d love to have another crack next year’, but then I have to start thinking bigger picture, rather than just short term, this winter,” Wiggins said, according to the Guardian.
To that end, Wiggins is expected to line up at the London round of the track World Cup in early December as he kicks off his preparations for the Rio Olympics. He was already drafted in as a late addition to the English pursuit team at the Commonwealth Games in July after missing out on selection for the Tour de France.
Wiggins was also overlooked for Sky’s Vuelta a España squad and has hinted that his days of riding grand tours have come to an end. Speaking on Sunday, he said that a repeat of his overall victory at the 2014 Tour of California was also unlikely as he refocuses on the track.
“If I am serious about Rio, which I am, it’s easy to get roped in when you come to things like this [riding the Tour of Britain for general classification],” Wiggins said. “There has to be a point where I make that switch and with the winter months ahead now I have time to go and change body shape. It’s coming up to nearly 18 months now until the Olympics so that’s going to have to start soon if we’re going to do it.”
Wiggins has yet to finalise a contract for 2015 but it seems certain that he will once again line up in the colours of Team Sky. In spite of the increasing emphasis on the track, Wiggins will once again return to Paris-Roubaix, buoyed by his assured 9th place finish this year, in what was the first appearance by a past Tour de France winner on the pavé since Greg LeMond in 1992.
“I’ll be back at Paris-Roubaix next year. Definitely. The kind of stuff I’m going to be doing for the track ties in with the demands of that event. It kills two birds with one stone that, definitely,” Wiggins said.
Before bringing the curtain down on 2014, Wiggins still has the pressing matter of the world championships time trial in Ponferrada next week. He finished in second place behind Tony Martin in Florence twelve months ago, and he was optimistic about his prospects after winning Sunday’s short time trial at the Tour of Britain.
“I feel that in the form I’m in I’ll be in the ballpark,” Wiggins said, according to the Telegraph. “We’ll see on the day. I thought I’d be closer to him [Martin] last year and he put 42 seconds into me.
“You can’t really predict what others are going to do. In the back of your mind, you’re thinking: ‘Yes’. But I think you do build yourself up into these things. There’s a chance I could win it.”