(London UK 11.00am 8th January 2015) Sir Bradley Wiggins is to launch a new professional cycling team in 2015 as a part of his commitment to encourage a healthy cycling culture within the UK. The British track and road legend, who holds seven Olympic medals, has formed the UCI ranked team – named WIGGINS – as he prepares for the Team Pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games. If he wins an eighth medal in Rio Sir Bradley will become the most decorated British athlete in Olympic history.
The new team will be sponsored by Wiggins’ long time supporter SKY and is fully endorsed by the governing body of cycle sport in the UK, British Cycling. It will feature a dynamic stable of young British cycling talent that includes Andy Tennant, Owain Doull, Mark Christian, Jon Dibben, Steven Burke, Daniel Patten, Mike Thompson and Iain Paton.
“Cycling has given me everything”, Sir Bradley says. “Now I want to build something to inspire kids and to reach 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”.
Details for the team’s bike and resource suppliers, colours, logo and team jersey will be unveiled in spring 2015, along with the team’s calendar of UK track and road events. Within this schedule Sir Bradley will make an attempt on the iconic HOUR RECORD live.
The Hour Record is one of track cycling’s oldest and most prestigious records. First established in 1893 when Henri Desgrange cycled 35.3 kilometres in an hour, and then stretched to 49.4k by the legendary Belgian Eddie Merckx in the 1970s, today the world record stands at 51.8k. Sir Bradley’s attempt will be shown live on TV across the UK and is sure to be one of the sporting spectacles of the summer.
“I’ve dreamt about the Hour Record since I was a boy”, says Wiggins. “Anyone can have a crack at it and measure themselves against the best in the world. We’ve seen cycling grow in popularity over the last few years and I want WIGGINS to inspire a new generation of cyclists”.
Robert Tansey, Brand Director, Content & Cycling at SKY, comments: “SKY is delighted to support WIGGINS and shares in Sir Bradley’s goal to bring even more cycling success at the Rio Olympic games. The partnership between SKY and WIGGINS strengthens our support of cycling and will build on the great success we have already had in encouraging grass roots participation and elite performance.”
WIGGINS will operate independently of British Cycling but will provide opportunities for competitive British riders to gain experience and track time together in the 12 months prior to Rio 2016.
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.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins re-wrote the record books with Team Sky by becoming the first British man to win the Tour De France in 2012. His 2014 triumphs include winning the Tour of California and the World Time Trial Title at the UCI Road World Championships.
Cycling is one the fastest growing participation sports in the UK. Recent increases in club membership have been accompanied by a rise of sponsorship revenues driven by the global success of elite riders such as Wiggins (source: Marketing Week 6.11.14). Since Sir Bradley won the Tour de France in 2012, British Cycling’s membership has more than 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 leading lights of the UK sports industry.
Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Bradley has written one of the greatest stories in British sport over the last 10 years. His exciting new project, WIGGINS, will undoubtedly have a lot to offer cycling in the UK on the road to Rio 2016 and beyond. It is a really positive move for the sport and further evidence – if any were needed – that cycling is continuing to go from strength to strength in the UK.”
Britain’s most decorated female Olympian Victoria Pendleton adds: “It’s great to see how cycling is gaining popularity in this country and Brad’s new team is bound to help attract more people to our sport. I think everyone will be behind Brad as he prepares for Rio 2016, and I want to wish him the best of luck with WIGGINS.”
As previously announced Sir Bradley will be continuing to ride with Team Sky until Paris Roubaix, April 2015.
For further details contact:
Helen Barnard, Helen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Henry, Julian@xixentertainment.com