Cycling: Wiggins targets high finish in comeback

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Bradley Wiggins' bid to win the Tour of Spain will be supported by two fellow Britons after Team Sky yesterday confirmed their nine-man squad for the year's final Grand Tour.

Wiggins refocused on the Vuelta after crashing out of the Tour de France in the first week with a broken collarbone and will start in Benidorm on Saturday with ambitions of a high general classification place come the finish in Madrid on 11 September.

The three-week race will also provide valuable preparation for the Road World Championships, with Wiggins targeting the time-trial staged in Copenhagen on 21 September.

Chris Froome and Ian Stannard join Wiggins in the squad, alongside Swede Thomas Lofkvist, Italian duo Dario Cioni and Morris Possoni, Spaniard Xabier Zandio, Australia's Chris Sutton and Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Norway.

Wiggins said: "I'm looking forward to making my return at the Vuelta a Espana. It's a race I haven't ridden before so it'll be exciting to take part in and I want to produce a strong performance for all those who have supported me since my crash at the Tour de France.

"The level of encouragement I've received has been overwhelming and I'd like to do everyone proud. I have a great team here to support me and it should be a really exciting three weeks of racing."

The Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford added: "Having Bradley back has reinvigorated us all. He will lead the team and has recovered and trained well since his operation, but the fact he hasn't been able to race for seven weeks means we will have to take things day by day."

Team Sky's Vuelta debut last year was cut short following the death of carer and therapist Txema Gonzalez. The penultimate stage of this year's race finishes in his home town of Vitoria and will be a poignant day for the team.