Sir Bradley Wiggins is to launch a new professional cycling team this year as part of his commitment to encourage new talent and a healthy cycling culture within the UK.
The British track and road legend has formed the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ranked team named WIGGINS as he prepares for the Team Pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
The 34-year-old is only one medal from becoming the most decorated British athlete in Olympic history – having already acquired seven.
“Cycling has given me everything”, said Wiggins.
“Now I want to build something to inspire kids and to reach to all those people who might be on the fringes of the sport.
“My message is simple – if I can do it, then so can you.”
Cycling is currently one of the fastest growing participation sports in the UK.
Since Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012, membership at British Cycling – the national body for the sport – has doubled, passing 100,000 for the first time in the organisation’s history last year.
Over two million people now cycle at least once a week in England, and the move to create a new British team has been welcomed by leaders in the UK sports industry.
Ian Drake, chief executive of British Cycling said: “Sir Bradley’s performances on track and road have helped to inspire a new generation of British Cyclists.”
“He won his first Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000 and it’s impressive to see him still breaking new ground now, 15 years later as his team WIGGINS represents a great opportunity for some of our most promising young riders to develop their skills and abilities on the road to Rio 2016.”
The new team will be sponsored by Wiggins’ long time supporter Sky and is fully endorsed by British Cycling.
The team will feature young British cycling talent that includes Andy Tennant, Owain Doull, Mark Christian, Jon Dibben, Steven Burke, Daniel Patten, Mike Thompson and Iain Paton.
Main image courtesy of cyclingnewstv via YouTube, with thanks.