Team Sky is set to announce the completion of its rider roster by the end of the week – and the eternal question of whether it will include Bradley Wiggins will be answered.
Wiggins has been linked to Sky for the past few months, a rumour that has been underlined the squad’s apparent lack of overall grand tour contender.
Rumours continued to mount when Wiggins turned up at the Manchester veldrome at the weekend, and was spotted talking to GB performance director and Team Sky boss David Brailsford at the track centre. Wiggins himself was not riding the event, his track career temporarily on hold as he focuses on the road.
“All is in place and we’re very excited, raring to go,” Brailsford said at the weekend. “We’re all nearly done now, all looking good.”
When pressed on whether Wiggins would be one of the riders, Brailsford responded: ”You’ll find out when they’re revealed. They’re all big names in Team Sky. We’ve got a team that’s assembled the best we can.”
Wiggins will not be drawn into commenting on a move to Sky. And neither will his current team, Garmin-Slipstream. Garmin boss Jonathan Vaughters has categorically stated that they will not let Wiggins go before his contract with the team expires at the end of 2010.
Wiggins is a valuable asset to Garmin-Slipstream after his fourth place at this year’s Tour de France, and they won’t let him go without a fight. Or a lot of money. Possibly.
World champion Cadel Evans was also fleetingly linked to the team after announcing his split with Silence-Lotto on Saturday, but Evans has now signed with BMC.
Team Sky have been granted a ProTour licence by the Union Cycliste Internationale, and is set to make its racing debut at the Tour Down Under, Australia, in January 2010.
The names of 20 Team Sky riders have so far been revealed:
John-Lee Augustyn (RSA)
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor)
Michael Barry (Can)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor)
Sylvain Calzati (Fra)
Kjell Carlstrom (Fin)
Steve Cummings (GB)
Russell Downing (GB)
Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa)
Chris Froome (GB)
Simon Gerrans (Aus)
Greg Henderson (NZ)
Thomas Lövkvist (Swe)
Peter Kennaugh (GB)
Lars-Petter Nordhaug (Nor)
Serge Pauwels (Bel)
Morris Possoni (Ita)
Ian Stannard (GB)
Chris Sutton (Aus)
Geraint Thomas (GB)