Vaughters says Wiggins wants out
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vaughters says Wiggins wants out

by Steve Jones at 5:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Garmin-Slipstream manager Jonathan Vaughters told BBC Sport that star rider Bradley Wiggins has expressed the desire to ride for the British Team Sky.

"He has let it be known to me that he'd like to be with Sky," Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters told BBC Sport.

"I haven't spoken to him recently, but I think he has a strong desire to be part of the first UK pro team."

This news comes on the heels of a report by French newspaper L'Equipe claiming Wiggins had been released from his contract.

"It's important to remember that he signed a contract with us for two years," explained Vaughters.

"I understand his desire to be part of the first UK pro-team, but I also have responsibilities to Garmin and the team's sponsors."

In late September the Briton told BBC Sport that he felt the Garmin team was holding him back. "It's like trying to win the Champions League - you need to be at Manchester United but I'm playing at Wigan at the moment so I have to make that step up," he explained.

His interview came after reports that the team was courting two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, a move that would put Vaughters at the helm for his epic showdown with seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong next year. Having the Spaniard on board would put any aspirations Wiggins had for the Tour de France on hold until his contract ended.

David Brailsford, principal for Team Sky, told the BBC back in September that, "There are two or three more spots to fill on our roster and we have our eyes on a few riders.

"But key British riders are maybe under contract and we've got to respect that."

It is known that British track coach Shane Sutton has a good relationship with Wiggins, and it's no secret that he and Brailsford would like to bring the country's best hope for a Tour de France podium on board.

Riding for Team Sky would be a good match for the British rider, who said he is considering retirement after the Olympic Games in London.

"I want to defend my pursuit titles in London but it is quite far away to think about.

"This year still hasn't sunk in but London is at the back of my mind and I'd love to be going for number three in the individual.

"It will be a nice way to end my career if I do end it there, which I probably will."

Working with Sky would likely see his track program for 2012 work in tandem with his program on the road, and would also see the Brit get the full support of his team for the 2010 Tour de France. The team already has the nucleus for a general classification bid with support riders like Michael Barry, Dario Cioni, Thomas Lövkvist and Simon Gerrans, as well as road captains in Kurt Asle Arvesen and Juan Antonio Flecha. Now that Garmin has acknowledged his desire to move, things could happen quickly to end the months of speculation.

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