Bradley Wiggins aims to defend Tour de France title

Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, Tour de France 2012, stage eight

Bradley Wiggins has said that he wants to defend his Tour de France title in 2013. He won this year's race ahead of Sky team-mate Chris Froome, but has previously said that he wants to aim for Giro d'Italia's pink jersey in May, which would leave Froome to race for the yellow jersey.

"I don't know what the situation is in terms of leadership, as it stands I'm probably going to try and win a second Tour de France," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

He added that the ultimate decision, to be made in the coming months, will be for Sky's team principal, David Brailsford.

"I don't know, maybe we'll have two leaders, which is more than likely I guess. How that's going to work with the team I don't know, that's more Dave Brailsford's problem to worry about... It's just how we service both mouths. Like I said, that's more a problem for Dave to figure out, but my goal is to win the Tour next year.

In October, Wiggins said, "I'm a great historian of the sport and I'd like to win a pink jersey [for the Giro winner] to go with the yellow one." With just one month to go until the official start of the season, he appears to be undecided.

"Whether that [the Giro] is realised or not, I don't know really, we're still in this planning phase at the moment, deciding each race, what we're going to do next year, how we are going to go about training to do that. Whether I do the Tour of Italy before it [the Tour], as I've said that is still undecided. All will be revealed in the coming months I guess."

Wiggins added that if the team asked, he would work for Froome in the Tour.

"Oh yeah, I wouldn't be on the start line if not. Whatever the team strategy is we all support that, otherwise you don't take the start line because there'll be somebody else that is willing to fulfil that job. It's a case of you do what's asked of you on the day, whatever that decision is."


Michele Scarponi received a three-month ban yesterday for his ties to banned doping doctor, Michele Ferrari. Scarponi admitted to visiting Ferrari twice in 2010 for tests before joining his current Lampre team.

The 33-year-old Italian also received a fine of £8,100 [€10,000].

Ferrari is at the centre of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and is one of several individual under investigation by Padua public prosecutor. In fact, if the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) receives more information from the case when it closes, it could prolong Scarponi's ban.

"Really, I don't think I made any mistake," Scarponi said yesterday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I accept the verdict ... but I was hoping it'd be something less or even nothing."

Scarponi received the same ban as Filippo Pozzato for his Ferrari ties and used the same defence. Italy banned Ferrari since 2002, but an official list of banned doctors failed to exist until 2007. Even then, due to an error, Ferrari's name was left out. Scarponi's lawyer argued, how could my client have known?

His client also served an 18-month ban in 2007 for ties to the Operación Puerto doping scandal. This three-month ban is virtually useless as its backdated to October 1 and set to expire on January 1, in time for the new season.

Riccò appeals 12-year ban

Riccardo Riccò appealed against his 12-year ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Italian said in the hearing, "I hope to return to perform the work I've always done."

Riccò served a 20-month ban for doping at the 2008 Tour. He returned and nearly died in February 2011 due to a botched blood transfusion. For the second offence, the Italian anti-doping tribunal (TNA) banned him for 12 years, though 2024, this April.

His lawyer argued to CAS that the TNA ban was invalid because it failed to hear all the Riccò's witnesses and that his lawyer at the time was incompetent. He wants the TNA to re-hear the case. CAS is expected to decide on the case by January 23.

Rabobank renamed Blanco

Team Rabobank announced it will race as Blanco next season until it finds a new sponsor. It acts as a holding name, similar to Project 1T4i before Argos-Shimano took over.

The Dutch bank announced on October 19 that it pulled its name and, effective by the end of next year, its funding. It blamed the Lance Armstrong scandal. Bert Bruggink, member of the managing board, said at the time, "We are no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport."

Rabobank will continue to support the women's, under 23 and youth programmes though 2016. The women's team will race as Rabobank Liv/Giant.

New Spanish series proposed

Spain's races, according to newspaper El País, may be grouped together in a series to save costs if a new proposal goes through. Pipe Gómez, president of the country's riders association, proposed the series backed by long-time cycling sponsor Cofidis and various other investors.

The group would allow race organisers to save €2,400 a day on doping controls. It would also produce and guarantee broadcast of a 30-minute daily programme on national television. In exchange, organisers would have to forefoot their TV rights.

The series would include most all Spanish races, around 17 events, excluding the national tour, the Vuelta a España.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.