Sir Bradley Wiggins to exit Team Sky to lead development side

Wiggins widely expected to help develop young track riders

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The Independent Online

Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed he has signed a final contract for Team Sky until the end of April, after which he is widely expected to switch to heading a track-focused development team that will help the Londoner build for his final Olympics in 2016 and develop young British track riders.

Wiggins’ mini-contract for just four months with Sky is designed to allow the Briton take part in one more big road race, the Paris-Roubaix Classic in April. It also puts an end to rumours that he might race in the Giro d’Italia this year before switching to a track-based race programme and a possible attack on the world hour record this summer.

“Paris-Roubaix is a special race for me and I’m determined to give it another go in Team Sky colours,” Wiggins said. “It’s one of the toughest races in the calendar and my aim is to improve on my ninth-place finish last year. After that I can focus fully on preparing for the Rio Olympics in 2016.”

Full details of the development squad have yet to be released, but it is almost certain to be registered in cycling’s Continental Division. Already known informally as “Team Wiggins”, it is understood to have strong support from Sky – who will not, however, be the title sponsor – as well as clothing company Rapha and bike manufacturer Pinarello.

Speaking about the new squad’s objectives last month, the Great Britain technical director Shane Sutton told Cycling Weekly: “The emphasis is to try and produce the next Brad Wiggins.”

Among the riders already linked with the new team are Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke and European individual and team pursuit champion Andy Tennant.