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Bradley Wiggins set for return to track in Manchester

Track World Cup, Manchester
Venue: Manchester Velodrome Dates: 18-20 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC red button and online (UK only); listen on 5 live sports extra

Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins is a six-times world champion

Britain's Bradley Wiggins is expected to make his track cycling return in February's Manchester World Cup event.

The three-times Olympic champion has been concentrating on his road racing career with Team Sky.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Wiggins' pursuit team-mate Ed Clancy said: "It's the first time since Beijing that we've really had a pick of everyone.

"Bradley and Geraint Thomas are back in the team, so we're going to be pushing for a good result and a good time."

The fourth leg in the World Cup series is the final event before the World Championships in March.

Brad's put his hand up and said he wants to ride and he's been training on the track a bit too

Geraint Thomas

Wiggins said in 2009 that he would turn his back on track cycling for two years, but always expected to be back in time for the 2012 Olympics, when he could also contest the road time trial.

The 29-year-old Londoner won individual pursuit gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004, then added gold in individual and team pursuits in Beijing four years later.

On the road, an impressive fourth place finish in the Tour de France in 2009 was followed by 24th place last year.

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins gets poetic

It is thought Wiggins will feature in the team pursuit in Manchester from 18 to 20 February and could also take part in the World Championships in the Netherlands from 23 to 27 March.

But he will be unable to defend his individual pursuit title at the London Olympics after the event was dropped from the schedule.

Thomas - who won team pursuit gold alongside Clancy and Wiggins in Beijing - plans to join the quartet in Manchester but is likely to be in action on the road when the World Championships are taking place.

"London is still a massive target for me and I don't think you can really step away from the track and expect to come back in and start where you left off," said Thomas.

"Brad's put his hand up and said he wants to ride and he's been training on the track a bit too."

Thomas was in action on Sunday in the Adelaide Classic race, a preview event for the season-opening Tour Down Under, which was won by Matthew Goss of HTC-Highroad. Sky team-mate Ben Swift finished seventh.

Goss's team-mate Mark Cavendish had been favourite for the sprint finish but was stuck behind a break when Sky's Greg Henderson, who won last year in Adelaide, crashed out.

The Tour Down Under begins on Wednesday, with Thomas raring to go after a breakthrough season on the road last year, which saw him wear the white jersey for best young rider during the Tour de France.

"It's given me a lot more confidence in what I'm doing. Each day the training you're doing is actually working and you're getting the results you want," he added.

"It feels like ages since I've raced so I'm really looking forward to going out there and getting stuck in. I can't wait to get that number on now and just go racing.

"We learnt a lot last year and learnt a lot about each other. With the new guys we've signed as well it should be a good year."

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see also
Hoy & Pendleton to miss World Cup
10 Jan 11 |  Cycling
Clancy wins World Cup omnium gold
18 Dec 10 |  Cycling
GB sprinters win Melbourne medals
02 Dec 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins scoffs at Staff criticism
26 Nov 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins to end his season early
26 Jul 10 |  Cycling
GB will be back in 2012 - Newton
08 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games

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