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Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 18:52 UK

Wiggins drops track for Tour bid

Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins joined Robert Millar as the best British finisher in the Tour

Triple Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins will not ride on the track for the next two years in order to focus solely on the Tour de France.

Wiggins finished fourth in this year's Tour, equalling the best finish by a Briton in the race's 96-year history.

However, the 29-year-old said he would return to the track for the 2012 London Olympics to pursue glory on two fronts.

"The obvious path for me is to try and win the Tour de France within the next three years," said Wiggins.

Wiggins also revealed he had held discussions with the British-funded Team Sky being put together by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.

However, Wiggins will not leave his current team Garmin-Slipstream until his contract expires at the end of next year.

It's made me think about what I can achieve and has shown what I'm capable of. My success this year has fed my hunger

Olympic star Bradley Wiggins

"The Tour is the biggest bike race in the world and finishing fourth has opened up a whole new set of doors for me," said Wiggins, who won bronze at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, gold, silver and bronze in Athens in 2004 and two golds in Beijing in 2008.

"What a challenge winning it is and I want a go at it. There will be no track racing for the next two years, it will just be full on for the Tour.

"In 2012 I'll try and do both, which would be an even greater achievement. I'd like to win Olympic gold and then win the Tour in the same year. I believe it's possible and can be done."

Wiggins was surprised and encouraged by his mental toughness throughout the Tour, which finished on Sunday, and as a result his confidence is now higher than ever.

606: DEBATE
puydedome

"Usually I find the mental side of it consuming, it really takes it out of you," he said.

"I always thought that I might collapse mentally after two weeks because I wouldn't be able to concentrate or would suffer lapses in concentration through fatigue, losing contact on a climb.

"But mentally I held it together very well and I feel like I've taken it to another level now. It's made me think about what I can achieve and has shown what I'm capable of. My success this year has fed my hunger."

Asked if he had spoken to Brailsford about a move, he said: "Yes, I have actually. I would be interested in it but I am still contracted to Garmin for another year so it wouldn't be something to explore until 2010."

In an attempt to snuff out any doping-related suspicion over his fourth-place finish, Wiggins has asked the UCI to make public the blood values taken for the 'biological passport' introduced by the sport's governing body.

"I came from nowhere and everyone knows where the sport's been with doping," said Wiggins. "I have nothing to hide and I want this transparency."



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see also
From track star to Tour contender
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Brave Wiggins holds on to fourth
25 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador seals 2009 Tour victory
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Armstrong to launch new US team
23 Jul 09 |  Cycling
How the 2009 Tour was won
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
I'm going to win the Tour - Wiggins
04 Jul 09 |  Cycling
GB cycling chief backs Tour aim
30 Jun 09 |  Cycling
GB elite riders set for Team Sky
24 Jun 09 |  Cycling
New GB team to aim for Tour win
26 Feb 09 |  Cycling


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