Sir Bradley Wiggins planning return to track cycling after giving up hope of more Tour wins

Last Updated: 19/08/13 3:55pm

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Sir Bradley Wiggins is targeting a return to track cycling

Sir Bradley Wiggins is targeting a return to track cycling

Sir Bradley Wiggins is planning a return to track cycling in a bid to claim a fifth Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio.

The 33-year-old Briton has all but given up hope of winning a second Tour de France and will instead look to crown his glittering career with the Great Britain team pursuit squad.

Bradley Wiggins won team pursuit gold in Beijing in 2008

Speaking in an interview with The Times, the Team Sky rider gave no definite indication of when he would make the transition, but British Cycling team pursuit coach Chris Newton has previously stated candidates for Olympic selection must train solely with the squad for two years prior to the Games, meaning next season is likely to be his last on the road.

Wiggins began building his legend in track pursuit events and won three Olympic and five world championship titles in the discipline, but will be 36 years old by the time of Rio 2016.

Nevertheless, he said: "I'm going to continue to the next Olympics and try for a fifth gold on the track - that is the plan.

Golden finale

"Having lost weight and muscle the last few years, I wouldn't be able to walk back into that team pursuit squad, so I am not taking it for granted, but I am working towards that. It would be nice to finish the career with another Olympic gold."

Wiggins's Olympic medals

  • London 2012
    Gold - individual time trial
  • Beijing 2008
    Gold - individual pursuit
    Gold - team pursuit
  • Athens 2004
    Gold - individual pursuit
    Silver - team pursuit
    Bronze - Madison
  • Sydney 2000
    Bronze - team pursuit

Wiggins enjoyed an unprecedented year of success in 2012, winning a selection of stage races and then achieving an historic Tour and Olympic time trial double within the space of 11 days.

But his stock has fallen this season, with illness and injury at May's Giro d'Italia and the meteoric emergence of Chris Froome combining to relegate Wiggins from his status as Team Sky's No 1 Grand Tour rider.

Froome dominated every aspect of this year's Tour de France on the way to an impressive overall victory, and Wiggins cannot envisage ever being stronger than his fellow countryman in road racing's showpiece event.

"I don't mind admitting that Chris is probably a better Grand Tour rider than me," he added. "He is a much better climber, he can time trial as well. He has age on his side, he has no kids. That's fine.

'Chris is better'

"If Chris wants to, he could potentially win five Tours now. So if I want to win another Tour, I would probably have to leave the team.

"If Chris wants to, he could potentially win five Tours now. So if I want to win another Tour, I would probably have to leave the team."
Sir Bradley Wiggins

"I love this team. This is my home. I'm not going to go, 'I want to be the leader still, so I'm off.'"

Wiggins also ruled out the possibility of being a stand-in leader for Team Sky at next summer's Tour, which starts in England, should Froome fall foul of injury or illness.

He is already adding weight and muscle in a bid to improve his chances at next month's world championship time trial in Florence and will continue that change in body shape in 2014.

"I can't put all this weight on and then suddenly lose muscle and do GC [general classification] again," he said.

"Anyway, the next person in line, the natural successor, is Richie Porte. He really is the next one who could potentially win the Tour."

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