Sir Bradley Wiggins to leave Team Sky after Paris-Roubaix

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Sir Bradley Wiggins to leave Team Sky after Paris-Roubaix

World time trial champion signs four-month contract ahead of return to the track

Sir Bradley Wiggins will leave Team Sky at the end of April after attempting to win Paris-Roubaix in his final race.

Wiggins, 34, was a founding member of the British WorldTour team in 2010 before winning the Tour de France in 2012 but is keen to turn his attention back to the track ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

To support Wiggins’ transition back to the board, Team Sky have offered the world time trial champion a four-month contract – with permission from the UCI – which will run until April 30.

Sir Bradley Wiggins will end his Team Sky career in April after a final attempt to win Paris-Roubaix (pic: Sirotti)

And Wiggins, whose previous contract expired at the end of 2014, hopes the new deal will allow him to enjoy a final swansong in a race which could see him join an elite list of riders to have won both the Tour and the Hell of the North.

“It would be incredible to win, but I’m not quite thinking at the moment about that,” Wiggins, who finished ninth in the 2014 edition of Paris-Roubaix, told Sky Sports News. “I’m just concentrating on the training and the process of getting there.

“Just to be part of that race and to be there again in the final would be an amazing way to go out. It was an incredible feeling last year to just be there with some of those guys that were there in the final and to do that again would be an amazing thing.”

Wiggins was Team Sky’s most high-profile signing when the squad was formed in 2010, and he has gone on to achieve 23 victories with the British-based team.

And, having added the world time trial championship to his palmares for the first time last year, Wiggins hopes his final four months with the team will allow him to enjoy more success before he switches his focus to the track.

Upon leaving Team Sky, Wiggins is likely to join a new UCI Continental registered road squad dubbed ‘Team Wiggins’, which will base its race programme around supporting the four-time Olympic gold medalist’s preparations for Rio. The team is likely to include a number of British riders also aiming to join Wiggins in Brazil in 2016, including Steven Burke, Mark Christian, Owain Doull and Andy Tennant.

“Everyone knows what this team means to me, so I’m really pleased to extend my contract until the end of April 2015,” he added.

“I have been with Team Sky from the start. I have had some amazing experiences during that time and I hope there are a few more to come.”

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford is also delighted to be retaining the services of one of Britain’s greatest ever cyclists.

“We¹re delighted that Bradley¹s extended his contract with Team Sky into 2015,” said Brailsford.

The 2012 Tour de France is one of 23 victories he has achieved since becoming a founding member of Team Sky in 2010 (pic: ©Sirotti)

“He¹s been with Team Sky since the beginning and during that time he¹s been an incredible ambassador for cycling and an inspiration to millions of people around the world.

“Rightly he still has big ambitions for the future and everyone at Team Sky will work their hardest to make his final chapter with us a successful one over the next few months.”

Wiggins will confirm specific details of his plans – and ‘Team Wiggins’ – for the future over the coming weeks, though his desire to return to the track has been no secret over the last 18 months.

Wiggins made a brief return to the boards for the Commonwealth Games, helping England to team pursuit silver alongside Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.

And he is also expected to tackle the UCI Hour Record in the summer, before bidding to add to his joint British record of seven Olympic medals in 2016.

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