December 10/09 9:15 am - Wiggins Signs with Sky
Posted by Editor on 12/10/09
The on again, off again status of British rider Bradley Wiggins with the new British ProTour squad Team Sky has finally been settled, with the multi-time Olympic medalist leaving Garmin-Transitions for Sky, despite one year remaining on his contract. This is the second departure from Garmin-Transitions this week, after the loss of sports physiologist Allen Lim to RadioShack.
It was no secret that Wiggins was interested in moving to Sky, especially after his superb fourth place performance at the Tour this year (and the fact that he would remain second fiddle to team leader Christian Vande Velde). Below are excerpts from the statements released by Sky and Garmin-Transitions concerning the move. There has been no official word on the penalty paid to Garmin-Transitions for releasing Wiggins, although it is likely to be high.
Bradley Wiggins has signed for Team Sky under a four-year deal starting with its debut season in 2010.
He brings huge experience from eight years as a professional on the road and has won wide recognition for his Olympic and World Championship achievements on the track.
Brought up in London, the 29-year old is the highest placed British rider ever at the Tour de France - jointly with Robert Millar - after his 4th-place at the 2009 Tour.
Announcing the signing, Dave Brailsford, Team Principal of Team Sky, said; “Brad will be at home in Team Sky. It is the perfect fit and he will be a marquee rider for us.
“He is an exceptional athlete - a great performer at a great age. And he will get better still. At Team Sky he can continue to develop, surrounded by some of the coaches and performance experts who have worked with him for years as part of the British Cycling set-up. With his experience he will help us to develop our great young talents too.
“Brad was a real revelation at this year’s Tour de France, has been hugely successful for British Cycling and his Olympic success has brought wide recognition. His presence will not only help us on the road but with the wider aims of inspiring people to not only follow the team but to get out and ride, whatever their age or ability.”
Bradley Wiggins said; “It has been an amazing year for me and my ride at the Tour has given me the drive to aim even higher. I know I can continue to develop and Team Sky is the perfect place to make that happen.
Bradley Wiggins continued “I agree with Dave that moving to Team Sky is like coming home. I’ll be on a British team with management and coaches who have shaped me as a rider. They are instrumental in my achievements so far and I know they are critical for the next part of my career.
“Team Sky has huge ambitions, not just for the team but for cycling and inspiring the public to ride. It’s an amazing project and the next four years will be very exciting. I’m really looking forward to meeting up in the New Year and preparing for our first season.”
Bradley Wiggins has performed for six road teams since he turned professional with the Linda McCartney team in 2001. He moved to Francaise des Jeux in 2002, Credit Agricole in 2004, Cofidis in 2006 – where he came 4th in the London prologue of the Tour de France - Team High Road in 2008 and Garmin-Slipstream in 2009.
He has been a World and Olympic champion on the track and in 2004 became the first British athlete in 40 years to win three medals at one Games. Two of his three Olympic Golds came at the 2008 Games in Beijing where he won the Individual Pursuit and was part of the world record-breaking Team Pursuit line-up.
Wiggins is the 25th rider to be secured for Team Sky. He will now be one of seven British riders - with Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Pete Kennaugh, Chris Froome, Ian Stannard and Russell Downing – in an international line-up. Alongside them are; Davide Vigoni, Dario Cioni, Morris Possoni [all Italy], Edvald Boasson Hagen, Kurt Arvesen, Lars Petter Nordhaug [Norway], Chris Sutton, Simon Gerrans, Mathew Hayman [Australia], Sylvain Calzati, Nicolas Portal [France], Thomas Löfkvist [Sweden], Kjell Carlstrom [Finland], John Lee Augustyn [South Africa], Juan Antonio Flecha [Spain], Michael Barry [Canada], Greg Henderson [New Zealand] and Serge Pauwels [Belgium].
Bradley Wiggins will not be racing for Team Garmin-Transitions in 2010. Although we understand his strong desire to be a part of the UK’s first-ever Pro Tour team, we would have loved to continue with him through 2010. His departure is not the outcome we hoped for. That said, Team Garmin-Transitions has an incredible group of riders assembled for the season. As always, we have worked hard to build a team that will be competitive throughout the year. The team features Christian Vande Velde who was 8th overall in the 2009 Tour after significant injuries; including five broken vertebrae; sprint sensation Tyler Farrar, David Zabriskie, David Millar, Dan Martin and other outstanding athletes that we’re fortunate to work with. In addition to the great new talent we have signed including Johan Van Summeren and Jack Bobridge, we have renewed our partnership with Garmin and added Transitions and POM Wonderful to our family of sponsors. And we’ve expanded our sports science program to include some of the best sports scientists in the world. We will continue to give our fans many reasons to cheer in 2010 and we look forward to exciting racing in the months to come.